29 October 2014

To War

Storm Flag 
8 feet by 14 feet
Fort Sumter National Monument

To war
derives from
words meaning
to confuse, to perplex, to bring into confusion
Germanic words
to avoid
mistaking Latin
bellum with bella.

War is not beautiful.

To confuse: 
Noisy fireworks
confuse me.
I too
am perplexed 
by their 
fumes and 
their intent
to entertain.

Concepts and colors are beautiful,
but war is not.

Rocket red
lights up
my country tis of thee’s
anthem and flag
loud and dark

Beautiful war? or dumb luck?

I never war—never consciously
perplex or confuse anyone.
    Ha!  You confuse me!
Not intentionally.
Besides war
is prolonged violent
collective struggle.
I never war, but
people war against me.

And it is not beautiful.

    You are beautiful.
No, I am not!
     Are we warring?
Not with each other
but maybe
the audience
is perplexed.

Audience members are innocent.

Unless they intend
to watch
and to be confused for a while.
And hurt.  
If  it is a prolonged
violent struggle
with weapons.
    But bystanders
    are innocent!
Not if they pay
to get in.
Not if they earn
money from it.
Not if they prolong it.
     You are confusing me.

War is not pretty.

     It’s pretty confusing.
Let’s talk about peace instead.
     Do we have a flag
     and anthem
     for peace?

Inspired by Gabriella's prompt 

Poetics – War Poetry at dVerse Poets Pub
(The info in the first stanza is from Wikipedia's War.)

Revised and Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #225

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast


Mary said...

Susan, I agree. War is not pretty. And yes, we definitely need to have more peace anthems. And....the words "I never war but people war against me" gives me pause for thought & reflect on other aspects of the word.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Let's talk about peace instead. Elusive as it may be. Great write, Susan.

Sumana Roy said...

"Not if they pay
to get in.
Not if they earn
money from it.
Not if they prolong it."....war provides a few with so much....hope the world realizes this...a great write Susan..

TALON said...

It seems peace has become an alien concept. Not celebrated and honored like war is. A powerful, powerful write, Susan. And important.

Brian Miller said...

war is...

and i am not sure there is much we can do about it...
beyond no reveling in it...

not dancing in the street when dictators are shot
because life is too precious

for us to be consumed with

Natašek said...

interesting structure of the poem and indeed, we should talk about peace.

Gillena Cox said...

Agreed war is no way beautiful, peace is what we hanker for

Happy you dropped in at my Sunday Lime

Much love ...

ZQ said...

an excellent argument.

ruth said...

"Do we have a flag
and anthem
for peace?"

and if not, why not? - It's the burning question, isn't it?

I love the warp and weave of your poem, the way it mimics the confusion and upheavals of war...

Gabriella said...

I like how your words and line suggest the confusion you feel and thus make us feel it too so efficiently. And i also think the way you closed the poem was rather clever.
I am glad you were inspired by the prompt.

Grace said...

War is not pretty at all ~ I am all for finding the flag and anthem for peace ~

Laura said...

"mistaking Latin
bellum with bella.

War is not beautiful." What an intensely beautiful poem on behalf of peace!

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

I do not war either...nor try to confuse...but I like the idea of a flag and an anthem for peace. Perhaps someday.

Old Egg said...

I often wonder why we can't be an amalgam of Switzerlands, Swedens, Portugals and other nations that seemed to have abandoned war as a tenet. Sadly there are those that need to impose their beliefs on others and who then will defend the innocent? What a disagreeable race of animals we are.

totomai said...

just watched the film The Hurt Locker again and it's a proof that war is never beautiful no matter how one defends it. The last line is a beautiful plea... to end war.

humbird said...

Peace - my favorite theme! Let's talk..and if one's not agree I'd never war...

Vandana Sharma said...

let there be peace in the world

dsnake1 said...

a very powerful write, Susan.
writing about war can easily veer into cliched territory, but your poem makes the reader wanting to read more. I liked how you structured it, in those short lines.

Wolfsrosebud said...

" You are beautiful.
No, I am not!
Are we warring?"

had to chuckle at this...

Gen Giggles said...

Very much let us have an anthem of peace. Very well written.