Poem written in the hope of a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine. For those who think that a soldier’s life is worth less than that of a civilian, I would ask them to think deeply about what they are suggesting. Asking any human to sacrifice themselves for others has to be justified by an outcome, not merely assumed as normal.



The mongers of war are out in force

Supporting the oppressed? Why, yes, of course!

Like gambling addicts who back only one horse

They expect us to choose a side

The merchants of arms make no such distinction

They’d even profit from a crucifixion

For them, success would be mutual extinction

But where does true blame reside?


And, if war is a solution, why does it not cease?

Why do we not now all live in peace?

Why does the desire for war increase

When they expect a delusional “win”?

After thousands of wars and millions of dead

There are still so many just struggling for bread

So-called heroes instructed to banish their dread

And pretend killing’s no longer a sin.


The enemy is so often obscurely defined

As are the concerns to which the other side’s blind

So much out of sight, so far out of mind

Man’s ignorance leads to aggression.

So, let they who shout loudest to fight go first

Let them feel, and smell, the hell of shell-burst

Let them live in the trenches, with the best and the worst

While we observe the results of their obsession!


All conflicts must end in negotiation

There is no good purpose to procrastination

Oh, please, grant belligerents more imagination!

Or just consult the soldiers’ wives

They’d tell our leaders to sit `round a table

To discuss the unpalatable with the willing and able

A show of good faith is no pacifist’s fable

Let the warmongers lose their lives.

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