Cessation of Hostilities (New Poem for Armistice Day)

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Cessation of Hostilities

There has never been a true “cessation of hostilities”.
For those three NewSpeak words can only ever be
a gassy smokescreen made to mask the secret liability
of those for whom all peace is all ways merely just
the disingenuous space that comes between 2 wars.

In every dirty hushful place where vulture salesmen
gather to be pedlars of the means of our destruction,
a canny nose can smell the dirt not only of a paper trail
which lead$$$ to hell but also of their hijacked verbal
sale: Security, defence, deterrent (for whatever all your
parroticians say, the goal is always arms production).

And while we sit here as a lightless line of couch potatoes
speaking out our fauxsome rage against the war machine,
some frozen men and women housed in concrete bunkers
underneath the greenness of this yearning patient Earth
are making dark devices such as no one yet has ever seen.

So many speak of their abhorrence for the horrors of a war;
but yet they fight amongst themselves over the colour
of a rosette worn — the reds and blues of sporting frays,
or at election-time when people speak of battles at
the polls and victories (and on their enemies pour scorn).

I once wrote “War is who we are” but that just rankled
all the pompous flesh which seeks to glorify that which
can have no glory here; while proudly wearing paper
flowers on their coats, the colour of them red like blood,
a crimson flood dishonouring the names and heirs of those
whose wasted lives they gave, as generals sip their sherries
on their garden party lawns. But no one really cares.

For if they cared, the wars would cease, the growth of
real flowers would increase, the congresses and
parliaments would crumble into dust or, better still,
be burned down to the ground; for every politician
is a weapon of the devil’s breath and with our votes
we are accomplices, facilitators and enablers, aiders
and abettors of the bleaksome battlefields of death.

Hostilities have never ceased; and neither will they
stop until no more we are the docile architects of war
through our passivity, stupidity (existing in a stupor),
mindless cretins, know-it-alls & ruthless world polluters,
and, at last, we work out what we’re on this planet for.


© Alan Morrison, 2018

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