War is Who we Are! [poem]
War, the wanton mascot of a catastrophic aeon;
disfigured, numb, decaying, steeped in slime.
Barely having climbed out from the swamp,
we dumbly think that if we don a suit and tie
we earn the right to peer down our noses at the
cockroaches and flies we claim in all our ersatz glory
to have overtaken long ago and left behind.
But we are worse by far than they will ever be,
masquerading as the pinnacle of the family tree —
proof our shatterfractured consciousness disjoints
the human heart and mind and issues in hostilities.
The oddest thing of all to me is that there’s not one
person in this world who claims that war is good;
but yet, being cowed, we allow ourselves like fodder
for the cattle (though those cattle types are us)
to be thrown into the abattoir and herded roughly
to some frontline farce where then we die to satisfy
the twisted lust and dysenteried minds of dark unmen
who drank a toast to victory upon their gardens green
while lads and even lasses (nowI’mlostforwords) were
spattered round the theatre walls. I’ve seen it all. Again.
Though one may scoff with venomous disdain at all
these words of mine and vigorously claim they only
represent a narrow-minded trigger-happy nasty few,
that’s where we go awry, exposing crassly how we
cultivate deliberately a skewed contorted point of view.
For every single one without exception on this sphere
has disengaged our unity of consciousness and cells
each time we thrust our crude disjointed selves
in self-assertive mode, to carve out for those selves
a baser, third dimension, fleshly ego-centred road.
Everything you love is run along the lines of war
where battle’s done as if to prove that one is better
than by far another (though, in truth, s/he is your
brother or your sister, husband, friend or just some
other dude with whom there’s never need for pointless
competition, contest, bout or other opposition.
Olympic so-called games, your sport and football teams,
promote a conflict-ridden world to me, or so it seems.
“City Thrashes Reds!” the headline in your rag proclaims
with chauvinistic gusto and some irony and hype.
Maybe you are not the sporting type; but vote instead
for parties drawn up for a vicious and protracted fight.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re ‘left’ or ‘right’ —
it’s all the same; blue or red, you’re just two sides of one
same coin rolling down a dark and twisted lane where
nothing changes but the faces and the clinging stink
of mould; and when your own has won the race you drink
then bitterjeer the loser for some light and sporting fun.
In Boy’s Own comic books the blasted bowels
are airbrushed from the page. A soldier’s rage
at what he’s seen and friends he’s lost at such
a jingoistic cost are veiled by his glorytalk and tales
of how the enemy was routed and destroyed.
Alliances are formed, deployed. They come and go
& all I see is one vast endless needless flow of blood
of those allegedly who “gave their lives for freedom”
so that you and I are free to vote for murderers
to take their place and coldly plan another war.
There is no freedom; neither has there ever been.
Democracy is engineered consent so powermen
and women too (who campaigned for “equality”
to kill and vie in corporate wars and shun the doors
I open for them out of kindness and to show that
I revere their wombs) but all they want is freedom
to participate in sending young lads to their doom.
There’ll never be equality for equal’s not the prize
we’re meant to seek. I’ll never match the talent
of a painter; but I will rejoice to see her work excel.
If everyone was made a millionaire, within no time
at all, because there will be those who share and
those who keep it for themselves, no more will they
be equal in the means they have to buy and sell.
“It’s natural!” you cry. “It’s just survival of the fittest!”
Yes, within the baser terms of older aeon’s scheme
that scrambledom to beat the other down has
been the central and predominating theme.
“Dog eat dog”, you say. “Nature red in tooth & claw”.
The time will come (and not so very long, I hope)
when these will be our careless epigrams no more.
For everything on earth’s about to change
and how I long to see the tide of evil wane
and stars fall from the heavens on a world which
had its chance but chose a broken path, insane.
Peace is just the briefsome space between two wars.
And war is seen as glorious — a theatreplace
where man can show his worth and even women
now partake in ersatz glory fights as if to prove
equality, whether or not the war they make is right.
How twisted we have all become; a nightmare
to ourselves when all the trash is said and done.
I won’t cry out for truth today, for who will care?
I shan’t cry out for peace, for who would hear?
Who will see that conflict starts within ourselves
not in a politician’s office or a house upon a hill?
(Although it’s true they rubber-stamp the war).
For every time, if we’ve not cleansed our souls,
we think or act or speak unconsciously, we kill.
We play our little games of life, imagining that we,
in all our trite supposed superiority, are liberal
in thought and deed. We quaff our wines, commit
our bourgeois crimes (such as hypocrisy and
reverse snobbery), and all the while our minds
are merely improvised through imitating what
we think is cool and trendy (intellectually we are
little more than frankensteins) who claim to be
opposed to war, to which we say from out of one
side of our mouths “No more!”, yet from the
other side we nasty whisper all our gossiping and
character assassinations and sell pretended love
in bottles by the score, refusing to release ourselves
from victimhood (as those who have professed to
be opposed to warring rightly should) we then
recite our writtenforus parts and poems as if our
virtue-signalling means even more than truth itself,
then vote for parliaments to fight our proxy wars &
keep our false concerns as ornaments upon the shelf.
Deep disheartened by this miasmatic human abattoir,
I vomit hard… for truly war is who we ARE.
Yet, I console myself with filigreesome thoughts
that we will look within and see things as we ought.
One day, this way of death will have become a blur;
and then at last we’ll say that war is who we WERE!
© Alan Morrison, 2020
[The image used above is a 1918 painting, entitled
“We are making a new world”, by Paul Nash]
One thought on “War is Who we Are! [poem]”
Jan 13, 2020 at 5:37 am
Isn’t that the truth? What a weary old way we have with our most embarrassing fact. So ready with you to make it all past tense – something no longer true. xo
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