During last week, as part of the Festival Of Remembrance, Jeremy Paxman presented a fabulous programme on WW1 and Wilfred Owen and his poetry. Brought up by my father who, while being a conscientious objector in 1914, in WW1 he nonetheless served as a stretcher bearer and in consequence was wounded twice and gassed, I was therefore taught the futility of war. I served for nearly five years in the Royal Navy in WW2 and was later so incensed by the cowardly actions in the N. Ireland Troubles, that, with a large workforce, at 50, I joined the Ulster Constabulary as a part-time, night time copper. With all this experience, I have never seen the purpose of war, nor the justification; too many innocents, including the soldiers are hurt, injured or killed, at the behest of one or some, with a different agenda.
Resulting from my own angst and the programme, I had an urge to break into poor verse, with no intention of equalling any real poet. Being computer illiterate I am too fearful of posting the verse, in verse form, in case things go wrong as they tend to, so please excuse the way it is presented.
WHY CAN’T WE STOP IT?
We the populace, we the tribe are fooled Day on day, by spurious anecdote. Our ardour encouraged but never cooled As fictions they scatter as fact. They quote Of the purity of war that hideous maw, That sucks up our men to be never more, With a jingoistic appeal to us To battle for them. It was ever thus
The drums roll, the flag is run up the mast With fake reason and digging up the past So stressing our invincibility, Our National pride not culpability. They dress us up and march us off to war For a purpose so subtle, we never saw That under the verbiage there lay a game Of personal ego and commercial gain.
It’s not just our lot, it’s across the world, That untruths are told and flags unfurled. How is it so that we men in the street Never see the real aim, when they entreat The rest of us, here and abroad, to arm To kill and maim, merely destruct or harm Those we know not and often can’t see, Civilians, children, soldiers, you and me?
Let us wake up and see the real reason. Oil, land, political egos, not treason. Their man in the street is like you and me, Couldn’t give a damn, just wants to be free. So why are we killing, so offhandedly? Suicide bombers, once innocently Passing time, now steeped in dire hate, Killing in numbers in many a state. Not for religion, some reason obscure That teaches not love, that clearly is sure.
So let us wake up and stop it right here. It achieves nothing good only spreads fear. Apart from a few, we all are losers Dancing to the tune of a few misusers.