The Everywherity of War [new poem]

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The failure we call war has many faces
other than the battlefields and trenches
that we normally associate with bellicosity.
For conflict, enmity, hostility, and animosity
can also thus be classified beneath the banner
of what I would term ‘a targeted atrocity’.

This poet once declared within his poetry
that “War is Who we Are!” in our humanity.
Imagine how that utterance went down!
In many eyes, it was a mark of his insanity,
his inability to find ‘the good in all’ —
a sign of his irreverence and profanity.

But if we only think of war in lesser terms —
of dressing up in camouflage and helmets,
using guns and bombs against an enemy —
we will severely limit its diversity; and only if
we broaden how we see war’s field of view
can we begin to see what parts of war are true.

Just look around this world with honesty at all
the myriad examples of what I believe is war.
In parliaments your politicians impolitely roar
at one another while the football fans decry
each other’s teams. Rivals vie at work to gain
advantage, trashing reputations, so it seems.

Taking sides is now the megavirus of our time.
Contest, struggle, rivalry — the latest paradigm.
Left OR right, or black OR white, or red OR blue.
Ladies & gentlemen, please designate your hue!
You’ll say I’m neutral, and therefore bland & grey.
I’ll choose a far more worthy hill 2 die upon 1 day.

Families and teachers pressurise the children
to conform to what corruption has established
is the norm — essentially they’re waging war
against what children have been put here for.
Governments wage war against their ‘subjects’,
forcing them into a mould. DO AS YOU ARE TOLD!

All this, to me, is war. For war is who we are.
Compulsive arguers we have become, unable to
accept when someone tramples on our toes:
We’d rather we indulge our triggered souls,
never able to resist a ‘pop’ or bite our tongues;
and Twitter is a battleground of smoking guns.

So, I will say it yet again: War is Who we Are!
And if you think I’ve gone too far, I ask you
why that thought should bother you at all.
Try thinking on it for a while; and if you do not
like my style, why so anxious here to scrawl?
I’m 0, just a speck of dust, and no one, after all.

© Alan Morrison, 2020

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