Poetry Pleases: Gulf
War is made from promises of glory, says Arthur Gilliland's timely poem. But the meek have a truer glory...
Youth is often led to war, laughing and joking,
By tyrants who think the world too small
And they the pivotal point of history.
Or by fragile, sorrowing men
Who find the world too big
And heed not, in time, the tyrants' threats.
War is made from promises of glory, food;
Glory, wealth; glory, land; glory, envy.
Glory? Please explain, what is this glory?
To the demonic mind which raises statues to itself,
Gun at hip, arm uplifted in self praise,
Glory is the careless slaughtering of millions
On the altar to its own worship.
But the meek have their glory too, a truer glory,
When they discover the steel in their humanity
And use this gentler steel to offer their lives
To save their friends, their families,
Their neighbours, this world
For something better than the tyrant's whim
And tyrant's love of blood.