Behind the flag of nations

The armies march to war

Each claiming God on their side

That He’s worth dying for


I’ve seen it on the newsreels

On TV in my lounge

We are immune from suffering

If it’s not on our home ground


Fire and blood are crimson

Life is what we borrow

The flame of peace flickers and dies

And with it dies tomorrow


The battles, politicians claim

Are fought for a just cause

They sit inside their ivory towers

Safe behind closed doors


They maim and kill the innocents

Each one of them a hero

While those leaders toast their victories

Innocents face Year Zero


I don’t mind to admit it

Speak out loud and take the rap

That all the tyrant’s fight for

Are just lines drawn on a map


Tell it to the mothers

Of conflicts stolen youth

Say they didn’t die in vain

Let the mothers know the truth


And when you’re watching over them

With your drones and your spies

Take heed of those mothers

When they say you’re telling lies


So go enrich uranium

If that’s your gods request

Manufacture viruses

To keep in your war chest


But don’t ever try to disguise

When all hell is breaking loose

That the cause you claim you’re fighting for

Protects your God’s own truth


The planet cries out for new leaders

But all we get are clowns

Jugglers, strong men; a freak show

What kind of circus is in town?


If I had just the one wish

I’d see the sabre rattle

I’d send the leaders off to fight

And watch them die in battle


Then they’d know of honour

When I had them in my trap

Then they’d know the truth of it

Of those lines drawn on a map


A re-run of one when I kicked off this blogging habit!


21 thoughts on “LIFE IS WHAT WE BORROW

  1. the title line and its containing stanza are the very highest form of the poetic arts – the poem overall is magnificent, mike – easily among the best anti-war poetry ever penned – you, sir, are a wordpress treasure

  2. Myke, this is wonderful. Especially: ‘Then they’d know the truth of it / Of those lines drawn on a map.’ It reminds me of something I wrote a long time ago and posted on MySpace (even down to the Ivory Towers), but I think you put it better.

    1. Cheers for that young Katherine. I think there is – indeed has to be – something of the adolescent angst with verse like this and am a tad pleased that even at 108 years old I still feel that anger when thinking of the wretched aspects of life. I’d like to read your take on it if you ever post it here. Thanks again.

  3. They say no poem is ever complete. It is a work in progress. Thanks for putting it up again. Poetry and fiction, unlike journalism, can get to the heart of the truth and say things no journalist would ever say unless they are independents and happy been treated as outcasts. If you were writing essays, or articles I guess they’d call you a conspiracy theorist or some other moniker to undermine your credibility. Your poem reflects exactly what I think about war and these clowns in power. I loved this poem. Keep ’em coming.

    1. Cheers for reading and taking time out to comment comprehensively. I have long since held the view that those who chose to follow the path a politics most likely start out with a genuine dream (as only the angst fuelled young can) yet some place along the way ‘ego’ takes hold and that coupled with an absence of free thinking (the party line supposedly must be followed) creates one of two things. Firstly, power lust replaces ethics as a proactive tool to retain both job and status; secondly the reactive approach (also an attempt to retain power and status) of ‘making the right noises’ offers the weaker minded some career comfort. Regardless, once the dream of changing the world for the better is lost then that is where it all goes horribly wrong. Funny old world really because the likes of you and I can see straight through them yet Joe Public for the main part will carp and moan yet still choose which side of the fence they sit and afford credence to and quite often the most dangerous fools to follow – I have no shame in naming the greatest fool potentially gaining power of sorts in the near future would be (subjective I know) the evil minded racist, homophobic, sexist, anti-immigrant & immigration, protectionist, anti-Europe Nigel Farage! Sorry this reply became more of a tome than intended! Thanks again, Mike

      1. Well put. I concur. I can also assume that those who go into politics thinking they can change the world are either naive or out of touch with reality. I think there are some who find themselves involved in politics not out of free choice but because they are cast into it by circumstances such as oppression by an unjust government and their entry is more of a kneejerk reaction to fight for something better. However, I believe that your poem here is dealing more with the career politicians taking care of their interests. Your evaluation of them is quite apt and your response sums up your disgust. We could rant about them forever and quite rightly too because they play on our ignorance and human frailities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s