In the Museum

by A.C. Clarke

Baked into this wall, imperial
guards look out aslant, each pupil
blank, Assyria’s bit of rough.
 
Here is the hawkhead god
whose hissing spite can just be heard
if you lean close enough,
 
Rome in her marble regimentals
licensed to kill for Senate and People –
now fighter planes shell out democracy
 
where client kings obeyed.
The staples of an ancient trade
displayed here as the art of weaponry,
 
our Trident’s three-pronged spear
– at one touch cities disappear –
no less an ornament of Mars.
 
How should we not pay mad homage to war
edging ever nearer to super-nova?
In our blood runs the violence of stars.