Simple lines are drawn in sand
Before too long a raid is planned
Evading those so underhand
They would presume to claim this land
Off we sneak in battle dress
Such gentle men and ladies, less
To mop and mock the endless mess
Than blow things up, as merciless
To violence we’ve long adhered
We have become the thing we feared
And afterwards may not be cleared
Of careful killings, well prepared
Poor War has wandered far and wide
From hill to valley, mountainside
And sunk such fortunes, fear and pride
To foster thoughts of suicide
Promoting causes, long since lost
He breeds support and hides the cost
Our future terrorists to host
More pointless conflict, until most
If not quite all are lying dead
Two tribes with matching holes in head
Surrounded by twin pools of red
Both died for an ideal, it’s said
And what is left to selfless men
But legends of their struggle, gain?
We heed such calls to follow pain
Our children reach for arms again.
I am untouched by death, it seems
My brow so cool, and arid eye
No flicker at the suicide scenes
Of friend that waited, soon to die
And hastened with impatient crime
To strike a blow and choose his time.
Not I, the sobbing, shrieking wreck
That tears their clothes and hair to match
The inner maelstrom kept in check
You’d scarcely hear my voice – the catch
Unnoticed by my colleague’s grin
Unless I choose to let them in.
At reading of another act
Of violence in public space
It is not terror strikes my heart
I cannot lie to save my face
Though all around are tearing fast
I’m calm and cool – it brushes past.
On hearing tales of chemicals
That kill en-masse, so far away
Of sniping shooters winging girls
Who want to go to school today
The sum of Arab Springs and Falls
Cannot unbuild emotive walls.
I’ve known it worse, or so we say
Explosions and effects galore
I saw a film, but yesterday
I can’t be feeling any more
Of Realism, High-def blow
Paid for my ticket, saw the show.
Though broadcast pictures fill the News
I’ve seen too many other views
In my short life to be amused
By one more shot of life, abused
While Western minds are overfed
On what we’re sold, and so, misled.
What heartstrings I have left to tug
Beside ideas I fondly kept
Lie buried underneath the rug
Old fashioned views, soft-celled, inept
Far too naive to hold so late
Beyond their expiration date.
Oh say can you see
By the dawn’s dimming light
The suffocate minds
That have brought us this fight?
The greedy and the foolish
Have led us to this pass
Where everyone’s dead
Except for the brass.