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MY FINAL WORD ON WAR

The fingers of the upper hand
that never clutched a mound of sand
that sign a suicide command
with lethal scribbling tool
would better serve us as a whole
to grip a jagged lump of coal
and shove into a tiny hole
to squeeze into a jewel

And if you doubt this would succeed
not any more than wars of greed
then you are very wise indeed
well…either wise or poor
and though I’m not  a pacifist
on this one thing I must insist
a man must only use his fist
for good worth fighting for

But seldom does war fit the case
of justice or almighty grace
to save a people or a place
of this you can be sure
Peculiar to the human breed
I mentioned once the sin of greed
which turns a want into a need
too potent to ignore
 
And so we poets wail of war
(when not of lovers named Lenore)
with words like “roar” and “gore” and “whore”
so dull and overused 
they only bore and cause to snore
the ones who would commit a war
who gather up the fighting corps
with flag and cross abused

Who steer the murder ships to shore
who shatter buildings floor by floor
who summon hell from metal ore
who arm death squads in Salvador
who kill the children of Dafur
and other crimes I can’t endure
who poke at wounds to keep them sore
whose fingers twitch forevermore
until they count the final score
I see you’re not amused

But that’s my final word on war
so I will spare you Senator
from more of this insipid lore
I don’t know what I blather for
for I am but an amateur
now kindly show me to the door
and through this bloody corridor
and let me be excused

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