games

as he ran through all the reasons why he was marching there
he could hear spectators grumble and the military air
and he rehearsed again the many choices he had made
that had brought him, at this juncture, to the heart of the parade

surely, he had reasoned, in the fever of his youth,
there must be one among us who can recognise the truth,
and having seen through falsehood with a penetrating eye
could educate the rest of us in how to spot a lie

but all were in confusion though none were standing still
to hold your ground regardless requires an act of will
it’s easier to follow the road where e’er it lead
if told they should be moving most will only ask “what speed?”

yet some of them, for their sins, had passed this way before
tipped their hats to ignorance and stumbled into war
and one or two stood forward with warnings cried aloud
“is death a price that you would pay to make your country proud?”

what use such pride, in any case, with a generation dead?
will it keep you warm at nights or see your children fed?
when generals and politicians call out in the god’s names
turn your back upon them and refuse to play their games

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8 Comments

  1. damommza

     /  January 22, 2012

    This is a very powerful poem that speaks to every generation faced with the concept of war and the sacrifices that many are forced to make. This is the first poem that you have written that I really think should be submitted beyond this blog. It’s content is very timely and we can relate to it possibly more than ever before. šŸ˜€

    Reply
    • Thank you, what you see here is the drastically edited version. The original was much longer and much less coherent šŸ˜€

      Reply
      • damommza

         /  January 22, 2012

        Removing the incoherent parts was a good decision. It left you with the cream of the poem
        šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

        Reply
        • I think that was the basic idea šŸ˜†
          It can be quite difficult to discard what might be perfectly reasonable material because it just doesn’t fit. But sometimes (probably more often than I do do) it has to be done šŸ˜¦

          Reply
          • damommza

             /  January 23, 2012

            Don’t discard! You can store them in the “to be used” folder to be repurposed for future creations. Good stuff should never be wasted! šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

            Reply
  2. I agree this is very powerful. This weekend France buried soldiers killed in Afghanistan, this poem has even more meaning to me therefore.

    Reply
    • Anyone who has lived more than a few years will have seen far too much self-aggrandizement and jingoism from those who would claim to lead. And isn’t it strange how the “leaders” never seem to be the ones to pay? šŸ˜ˆ

      Reply

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