Looking at Our World Through Poetry: WAR


War Zone
Two countries at war,
Caring not, who gets caught
In the crossfire
Of their discontent;
In the ever accelerating noise
Of their sharp barbed tongues.


Is the name of their game;
A prized weapon of choice.
Poison drips steadily,
Distilling in the charged air,
Until truth, itself,
Becomes an elusive
fragmented memory.

What is real?
What is imagined?
What is the manipulated version
Of reality?
What is the true version?
It seems impossible to tell
As barbs fly back and forth.

Weapon after weapon,
pulled and discarded
For the moment;
Moving on to the heavy artillery.
We must destroy -
Destroy everything
Everything that is beautiful;
Obliterate everything

Everything that is
Honest, fine and noble.

Two countries
At war,
Destroying everything
That stands in their pathways;
Their only goal, to win,
At any cost.

Two countries,
Still at war;
No longer certain,
What the original conflict
Was all about.

Two countries,
Chewing up their citizens -
Men, women and children.

Two countries,
Not caring
That in the process,
Innocent men and women die;
Not caring, either,
That innocent children,
Caught in the crossfire,
Die or are forever maimed.
Not caring
That in this destruction,
They are destroying their
Only hope
For a better future.

Two countries
Sowing seeds of discontent
Amidst the destruction
So that even the winner
Remains disillusioned,

Two countries,
Perhaps not realizing
Not caring
That the children who remain
Have also been affected
By the bitter conflict;

Two countries,
Not caring
That their children,
The hope of the future,
Live with remembered hatred;
With encapsulated bitterness -
Bitterness that erodes the soul
And leads to future conflict.

Two countries,
Both tired.
Loser or winner
Forced to rebuild:
To attempt to create
A better world
And not knowing how
To accomplish this
From the seeds of
Destruction and despair.

Two countries,
Bound by a new treaty,
No longer certain what
The original conflict
Was all about.

Why did we go to war?
What did we win from war?
Where have all the people gone?
What makes our children
So hard to handle?

Two countries
Confused, trauma-ridden,
Forgetting that it was they
Who sowed the seeds
Of their children’s discontent.

War Zone!
Two parents
Bound by marriage vows
To love, to honor and to cherish
Each other.

Bound, by their humanity,
To cherish the fruit of their loins;
To cherish, to nurture and to treasure

Their young
Their children
The hope of the future.

Betty R. Stockley
Copyright 1994