The only war I know is a war with myself
and that is quite enough war for anyone
I fought it for such a long time
until I realised I didn’t need to.
Then there are those other wars:
the ones that happen on the outside
I’m happy to say I’ve never been involved in one;
perhaps it’s a privilege.
Women don’t start wars,
I doubt the Helen of Troy tale was true:
a bar brawl maybe, but 1000 ships?
Women don’t start wars but they get dragged into them
this awful masculine posturing
an extension of a stand off between two cars
at the traffic lights.
And sometimes there’s more to it of course;
sometimes there’s a Hitler:
some people need to be stopped.
Thank God Trump didn’t manage to spark off a civil war.
Nowadays war’s a global business
there’s always a pretext here, a pipeline there, an arms contract:
‘We will openly criticise your human rights record
while selling you arms under the table.’
The rich get richer while the poor are killed
by the thousands, millions even.
I hope to avoid all further wars, especially the ideological kind:
if they start killing people for having ideas again, I’m screwed.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for dVerse
Tonight, Bjorn is hosting poetics. He has given us some excellent examples of war poetry, and then the following instructions:
‘please pen yourself a new war poem. I think no matter our own experience I am sure that we fear what war can do, maybe it’s something you meet in the eyes of a refugee, in your nightmares or from reading a book, or if you prefer you can use one of the poems above as the inspiration for your own poem.’
Mine is a stream-of-consciousness poem, words which came to mind immediately I thought about war. I stuck with the ‘This is not a…’ idea from a previous poetics on object poems, because I have no personal experience of war, as explained above. No offence intended to anyone apart from Trump and Hitler.