Peace in Our Time

another old one ‘peace in our time’

Peace in Our Time


After a while it’s easy to understand 

Why soldiers need their wars

Why it needs fighters

And peacemakers

And after that the peaceful

Who can work without battles

Who can walk beyond the obstacles

Who can walk the streets without looking for a sniper on every rooftop.

Three hundred and sixty degrees of suspicion

Leaves a narrowness of vision

And when life is taken in short strides

Punctuated by dashes across the open spaces

All you see is another place to hide

Survival is called victory

You live to fight another day and visa versa

And in the end when the fighting is over

You are left boxing shadows

While others toast the phoenix.


Growing up, I lived in a new town

And watched it grow with me

I listened to developers in the front room

And thought the world had only just begun

Heads of state came the east and sat drinking tea in an ordinary house

Later they were assassinated.

Outside the town I listened to others

And while they talked of battles and comrades

I knew they had never left the field and I was listening to ghosts.


Later when I returned

I found the town had passed from the men of dreams

To the shadow boxers

And as I walked the shell of a creature dying in infancy

I wanted to shake myself free of the bedclothes

And wake up in the world I’d been promised.


It’s easy to understand the soldiers

And the barren landscape they inhabit

But what I want to know is

When they have finished

Why don’t we simply take away their guns and lock them in cinemas

Watching old documentaries

While the rest of us

Get on with building

What ever it was they were fighting for in the first place.


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