Battle is all I know
& I count myself dead
Beginning with each war
There is no other way
There is no wife &
There is no life &
I must end life that comes forward to me.
War is not a backward motion
I never knew
That I knew
But I knew perfectly
When my company of men pulled away..
I was always ready to die for this King
For I am one of his 40 mighty men!
& I, a foreigner, a Hittite, as is my wife
Our grandparent’s grandparents settled in with
These Hebrews who treated us well, & many of us
Like myself & my wife became proselytes
Their faith now mine, is now mine own battle dress
Today is no different—except today I know
Just as these dogs are before me— I will die..
But not before this one who charges out of the
Throng, & oh how I love spilling his blood, & cleaving
Half through his neck & chest— he never saw it..
Now they see me ready again,
“Who is next of you— dogs? Who of your slime is next?
He brought me out of battle! Battle!
This is shame! To leave battle,
I know of no other guilt I could be guilty of
& not ask for forgiveness from this their mighty God
Because it is so vile and shameful! To leave battle?
I, Uriah the Hittite shirked no battle afraid of no foe?
To leave battle? Sent from battle like some load bearer,
Smelled fine food and his perfume in his palace
But not my brothers sweat!
What could be the reason?—this King is my life?
When each war ends, but not until it ends
Until then My life— is always Battle!
War when it begins is a linear series of horrific acts
Each death an immoral, yet honorable action until war ends.
This one is not over; we could lose, the battle King
Could lose, simply because he is not here
That men would rally to his standard as the standard of the Almighty
My queen death by my right and left
Hand is the end purpose of my blood!
I sacrifice a lamb for every man I kill.
He set me before table of feast & wine
Then bade me go to my wife? To my wife?
When it is my oath to kill the dogs set before me
& there they remain and my brothers without me at their side?
That is all I could fathom.. I slept at his door & never saw my wife.
Heh, you, you Ammonite scum, die as you run to me! I know your slime
Ridden brothers will soon bring your archers to bear
Until then, this is two of your Hundreds
That taunt, dead & the blood still spilling out of that one now,
His tunic floating red now..
“I want more of you, like a hungry man wants his dinner!”
Three are running toward me now, one to the right, he will
Make a flanking move, the others come straight forward with
Lances, I will kill them all with these moves the Most High
Has given me, we 40 men were schooled in the difference between
Killing and murder—I am a killer. It is so. Yet I have never murdered.
But he the King? Why does he murder me? I thought Joab could never do this
Had it not been bidden by the King
I carried the message that ordered this treachery—I saw it on Joab’s face
My brothers would never do this, Joab placed me with
Young men, first time in battle & when they withdrew on orders
As I led the charge and these dogs quartered in and have
Boxed me on this rocky field I saw them Leave in tight formation
—the King was angered
When I refused to go to my wife
Perhaps he slept with my wife & brought me
Home to assuage this guilt? Yet I cannot believe that.
Did he not know that the most shame I could bare
Fiends take my wife who bathed on the roof below the Kings’ window
I joked about the King seeing her private parts!
Perhaps that was my sin, perhaps she will foal Hebrew blood and connect
To a lineage unknown to me, there is more than war, I know now that
This is the day I die, I would want nothing but warriors for sons,
Still.. was leaving my brothers in arms for his table a thing he thought I could bear?
Ah, but those days he commanded us in the field!
I would follow him anywhere and do his bidding
No matter the course, so I left battle hoping to be
Assigned a particularly dangerous duty..
Oh! How, I love to side-step a shield & with a feinting move
This flanking bastard coming close will soon die & while these two get to see me jump!
Up so my sword can kill from the height of his shoulder
I plunge it straight down with the quick stab which parallels down the neck
Passing through clavicle quickly & down quickly down..
Down into the vitals & as I come back to earth tipping the living falling corpse back he falls
The air leaves him & my sword is out and now & as he topples—I kill the other two!
The look on his face when I left the ground is still in my mind
As I now smell them all bleeding—& it is strange that now I wish the King was watching.
“I, Uriah the Hittite Servant of King David—of his 40 mighty men will go to my
Death with joy this day—as a warrior I’ve never looked for rescue!”
My brothers backed off leaving me cut off & the wall over there..
I’ve known since I was dispatched from the King
Some one thing was wrong, & if it be betrayal—so be it.
That I’ve fought valiantly for this King no one will ever deny
This has been my great joy when it was I knew he
Voiced daily with Almighty, I’d seen him as a youth
When he’d put down that ungodly beast behemoth Goliath
Stinking philistine that he was—I admit it I could not fathom it
Yet I saw it, I saw it at 18 and he was 15, & he killed him
With stone from his sling, dead, in the dirt
The giant that smelled of excrement & ate raw meat
& entrails unclean & putrid & gargantuan as he was—he bloated in half a day
David cut off his head with the Giant’s own sword!
Oh how we rejoiced seeing the Philistine dogs run after this &
When I heard that the prophet named David the anointed of
The Almighty I knew of no other thing I could do
But serve him— David, and shortly swore my allegiance
To him and only him, that my old uncle
Betrayed him, & his traitor son who infuriated me, & when I
Saw Absalom dead my heart swelled with the joy
The justice of it, yet I saw my King weep & grieve
As if he’d lost an infant child, I thought him
Beyond human with tenderness that day
I, Uriah the fierce Hittite was moved by
His loss and his ability to love
Now I see that they are
Sending five at me… Ha! I give it to these dogs they
Have not brought archers nor javelins to bear even now & will
Try showing themselves men! Ha! I’ll kill these five!
I’m now leaking red blood & that was a little harder
Than I thought—my age? I’ll have no gray hair after this day!
Ha! This Day of my death, no old man tottering before a grave for me!
I am a warrior & death has always been my mistress.
That keeps me true to my wife!
I’ve always been true but now there are
Other arms of Sheol reaching to receive me —I go there with honor!
If there is resurrection as some of these Hebrews believe,
I desire to march straight for it.
But not before I taunt them more, “Dogs! come spill some more of your
Entrails that I Uriah will make you whore mothers weep! Dogs that
Defy the Mighty one of Israel! Come die with me today so you
Will see Sheol and bark for even dark mercy!”
These Hebrews taught me Job & He Who is Mighty
Test men—I’ll be true to this test
Ha! & now I see the archers being placed, & a phalanx of
Infantry to take my arrowed corpse, Ha! Today I die!
The morning sky is red, & a hot wind blows in my face,
My doom is this day will not steal my joy of this
My final battle—a wrong done against me never-the-less
Through a cause of which I’ll never know here.. yet I smell Hyssop
I smell olive oil, I smell savory, and Basil, and Aloe
Their clang of armor sounds paltry,
Now I’m hearing distant symbols, tambourines & trumpets
Bah! I throw down my shield & pick up a lance!
In thirty feet the archers will have to shoot round their infantry
I will charge them!
He has some reason not privy to me, & so as said Job
& now I charge them! & I’m yelling:
“Even though He slay me, yet I will praise Him!”