Memorial DayDeath makes brothers of all soldiers. Those who lay down their weapons. Beside their own caskets. Should be allowed peace from the/ nationalistic/militarists attitudes. That placed them there. Shouted prayers for peace/ Would be a more fitting tribute To those who have fallen, Than beats of drum, Or blare of bugle. What better sign of homage could be given, Than for all living, To join hands and say as one– “You have taught us VIOLENCE IS WRONG.” I sob with frustration When I think of my own failure as a warrior. The insufficiency is not That my mates and I did not win. Individuals can neither win nor lose wars. They only survive or die. Our inadequacy is/ We are unable to create an attitude/ That insures peace. More than cheers of welcome, I wanted an end to violence When I returned home from Vietnam. As a young man, I narrowly wanted/ Only for the savagery/ Of my time in combat to end. As I age, I wish more and more, For the surcease of all brutality/ For all people.
One need not don a uniform, Or learn to drill, To be a warrior. My dictionary defines the word as– “one engaged or experienced in combat.” Combat is– “Strife or turmoil.” I count as comrades all who despair, Because of conflict or defilement. The small children who suffer hideous crimes/ From those who mistreated by neglect. And all in between who have experienced/ Anguish. I no longer choose to appraise misery. There are no commonly valued units of ache. Agony can only be rated by those who endure. If I can find meaning/ To the chaos I participated in, It can only be that it contributed/ To the termination of the desecration of the human soul. Sadly. . . No amount of optimism, Can allow me to believe, That will transpire during my life. I see too much flag waving, And read of too much misery, To imagine the malignancy/ Of enmity will soon end. Memorial day is a day of sadness for me. Not so much for those I have lost, Their pain is over. I weep for those who still stuffer, The pain of immoral wrongs. Those whose scars are visible, And those whose affliction, Can be detected by the gaze of melancholy; That can only be seen by fellow travelers, Through the labyrinth of woe. ~~The Contrarian~~ (written many years ago) and offered here with his permission. Peace this day to everyone.