Before you embark on a war today,
you must be wary of its alluring spoils,
like hopeless men that stand in wait,
and helpless women with tempting gates,
while your enemies with their unsheathed weapons
march towards you as if in a trance,
for I know it must please you to feel but heathen
and but lose yourself in the devils dance.
The smell of moist flesh in the rot,
the taste of blood now on your mind
the sound of ending progeny in the hot
flash of rage and the raging binds,
tumult of blood lust, and vengeance true
but remember war has the darkest hue,
there is no grey, but only black and white,
and regardless of what you think is right,
those that kill one are but savage,
and those that slay thousands are the generals,
but who do you fight for, murder and ravage,
a war that is yours as much as the gull’s,
that pick the skin clean of the dead,
and wash their wings in the sea of red.
Is not this burden but yours to carry?
and those you follow but careless very,
order you to stand your ground,
before the horns, and before the sound.
The trumpet blows for you my soldier
the bell it tolls for thee not them,
the mother that attends the funeral march
is not of theirs, but yours my friend.
True your enemies are just as blind,
true they are enemies nonetheless,
but foolish before and behind the line,
both as foolish, you must confess.
Remember the day you left your love,
in tears with no promise of coming back,
you picked your helmet, wore your gloves,
the burden you bore, you thought would crack
the backs of thousand horses and more,
the protection of your sacred land,
heavy it was the burden you bore,
until you saw what war was and
until you killed those sons of whores
and earned a medal for every stain,
so you felt no guilt and raped their women
shot their children in all disdain,
spurned their legacy and left to weep
the unfortunate mothers who gave them life.
Another day in the land of ruin,
you squeezed the life from another dog,
and searched his corpse for some more wealth,
but found on him just a writers log,
and in it written some words obscure,
addressed to his wife and mother poor,
“I fight for a better tomorrow,
and peace is a fleeting dream
but from the ashes we shall borrow
the heat to mend our broken seams”.
You dug him a grave, and buried him there
in a place so far from home
only yesterday he stood with his army here
and today rests here all alone.
The worst part is you did not know,
who he was or what he believed in,
but you both fought for some one else,
and there in lies your greatest sin.
Beware my heroes, the folly of war
the words of leaders and all their lies
they make you fight and watch it over
until all sense and morality dies.
Oscar War (Words Of Wisdom)
Before you embark on a war today,
11 thoughts on “Oscar War (Words Of Wisdom)”
“Stand for what you believe in, and stand until you fall, but before you will to take a life, will to understand your war.”
Reblogged this on Ginger Musings.
Thank you so much, it is such an honor.
I like this poem. The imagery is sharp and it flows beautifully. The quote above also made me think of this famous quote from John Stuart Mill who wrote an editorial during the American Civil War.
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
Thank you, and I agree with Mills quote, but only under the pretense of obligation, for men do not choose their wars, wars choose men, and when necessity knocks on a door ajar, the valiant must stand to fight not to survive.
An ugly folly beautifully revealed in this poetic narrative. It gets uglier though: 40% of Vietnam vets has 6th grade literacy and 60% were from economically deprived backgrounds. All wars are fought by such men. Robert McNamara famously inferred that their country was doing them a favour. I bet Hannibal did the same.
Yours is a very well executed piece, well done..
Thank you Mike, but I can’t help but disagree with your notion that “all wars are fought by such men”. War is an intelligent entity that is waged by intellectuals and suffered by the foolish.
What a useful weapon is the stupid patriot,
Send him out to fight for you; to fight and die and rot.
Thank you for the follow! I enjoyed my visit here and shall return.
Indeed, you’re and thankyou.
War, whether it is physical or emotional, can be so damaging… your poem evokes such huge images. I am happy to have found good poetry here!
Indeed it can, and thank you, I too am glad that you found my work to your liking.