Still we live to die
And die while living at war
We lack bandages
For broken minds, fractured souls
We turn away from carnage
Blood pools and lives pass
When life pools and blood passes
War rages, men die
Wounds ooze when the scab’s knocked off
Gathering lives is easy
The above double Tanka is my attempt at the Wea’ve Written Weekly poetry prompt at The Skeptics Kaddish and proposed by this week’s Poet of the Week, Larry Trasciatti. The prompt was to write a poem that incorporates chiasmus. That is a literary device where the grammatical structure of a previous phrase or clause is reversed or flipped. Easier said than done but I gave this my best effort.
Today is a special day that was born from blood shed on the battlefields in Europe in WWI. Supposedly it was “the war to end all wars” and nearly every country was involved in one way or another. It was marked by the use of innovations that allowed for greater killing – the airplane, chemical warfare agents, submarines and tanks. At first it was called Armistice Day because it marked the end of hostilities – a cease fire “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”. Then the unimaginable came to pass, WWII where death stalked this world. The war was bigger and more deadly. The armies added even more terrible weapons: the flamethrower, the submachine gun, anti-tank mines, a variety of bigger more powerful versions of grenades, mortars, bombs, airplanes that flew higher and dropped increasingly larger bombs and finally the Atomic bomb. After WWII Armistice Day was renamed Veterans’ Day to honor all who served in the military.
And here we are poised at the brink. A madman invaded Ukraine and is being repelled. But he has ratcheted up the rhetoric and the propaganda to justify his actions. Many in his country believe what the tightly controlled media is reporting. And now the nuclear option has been slammed down on the table. A “double dog dare” in effect. This is a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation. All it takes is one twitch and we are back in what could be WWIII.
At 11:00 AM today I will be pausing. I will stop and pray. My prayer will be for reason to overrule insanity, for peace to quell war, and for healing to come to this broken world.