Wednesday, 27 November 2013

wertenbaker: our ajax

Photo: Camilla Greenberg

research for: 'antigone' and 'the great warrior'

  • the futility
  • the psychological damage
  • the madness
  • the nightmares
  • the hallucinations
  • the destruction
  • the blood
  • the death
  • the corpses


How much longer?
How many more years?
on the Asian planes
the dust of Helmand
the sand of Troy
salt marshes of Basra
the barren rocks of Aden
The jungle of Malaya
The beaches of Al Faw.

How much longer
the ceaseless misery
unending war work.

I wish he'd never existed
or went down to hell before he lived
that man
who first taught us warfare.
Hardship leading to more hardship
that man ruined all men
oh ponoi progonoi ponen
and pain promotes more pain.

No pleasure for me here
no party hats drink music
not even the sweetness of a good night's sleep
and as for love. Love. Oimoi
he sure stopped all that:
I lie neglected
in my cold fartsack
my hair streaked with desert frost
and wake up to this shithole.

Home, I want to go home,
feel the lapping of the sea
flowering fruit trees
the smell of autumn leaves
Magnum cider with ice
the green criss-cross patches of England
when you fly in.

OUR AJAX | Timberlake Wertenbaker
Southwark Playhouse | 2013

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