Saturday, 9 November 2013

War Child

As we approach Remembrance Day, a poem about the seeds of tyranny, and the war child within....

War Child
The world is still at war, and past mistakes
Are forgotten, as each casualty falls down,
Followed by funerals, ceremonial, wakes,
All for power, fighting for a hollow crown;
Here the seeds of conflict sown when a child,
Taught to stand up, be a man, and not weep,
Becomes the playground bully, not mild,
But trampling on others.  This is a sleep,
A sleep of reason, buried deep like roots,
As flowers later in life, pernicious weeds;
Walking over others in their heavy boots;
Is this is how they now fulfil their needs?
The child within, spoilt, getting their way,
Becomes the adult, petulant, shouting loud;
They cannot see how they have gone astray,
While they strut about, so sure and proud;
Ambition leads one man to power, a nation
To the abyss, plunging into war and death,
In pursuit of power, ambition, and predation;
And fighting onwards, until the dying breath
Takes away the tyrant, and curbs the might,
Trumps the king, and topples the throne;
Death comes, riding a pale horse, to smite
The powerful; flesh decays and left is bone,
Bleached white, the tyrant has a fixed smile:
The rictus grin of the skull, the final peace
And last judgment, that most final trial;
When death comes, all conflicts cease,
But only after thousands perish in the war,
All because of a lost child within the man;
At the turning point, the opening of the door,
There is a moment of destiny, rather than
Take the path of destruction, another way:
Choosing not the paths of death but life,
A future of hope, not one of endless fray;
A way of love, and not of unending strife,
Swords into ploughshares, a different need,
To feed the hungry world, reach out a hand;
Look forward with hope, and plant a seed
And have a dream, make that your stand.

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