I understand but don’t rejoice;
Steps may be both sad and vital.
In Prague in sixty-eight they said
That no one argues with a tank.
How right they were, although one man,
Brave as hell at Tiananmen,
Stood firm and stopped some in their tracks.
Now ministers of every hue
Queue up to mount these phallic toys,
The pitiless monsters of hate,
Murder machines for far-flung worlds,
Pulverising all before them.
They are the angriest of beasts:
Mud-splattered, rugged, spraying death,
Which is what the generals like.
They have them, so we must have them,
And we must have more and more and….
War’s crass cycle rotates anew,
And blameless men on either side
Are crushed beneath the mammoths’ ride.
Tue 31st Jan 2023 08:25
And my thanks to John, Adam, Holden, Pete, Hélène and Rudyard.
Sat 28th Jan 2023 17:11
My thanks to Frederick, Stephen, K Lynn and Purplemoon for liking this poem.
I accept that there is no alternative to sending tanks to help Ukraine but I cannot rejoice at the prospect of more belligerence and more killing. Yes, it's a simplistic, abstract revulsion to war as such, but I'm afraid I can't help it.
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