The false veneer of culture wears exceeding thin.
That attribute of man that lifts above the animal
has all but ceased to function, so glib the countless lies.
And yet above the din of pain and endless strife
can still be heard a call from some small fraction
that not yet has fallen prey to bloodlust,
and the avarice of tyrants.
The skills of cut and thrust are asked no more.
The tools of death have stolen apprehension
and all fear of mortal action,
until they reach the last remaining door,
then they too must face eternity, some yet but boys,
and also men who greet the reaper as a friend
and portal to their own redemption.
What can this be for foe, who wish to die?
They are the ones whose words will not be heard,
can have no use of breath,
and yet in dying, breathless, still they raise a cry
that cannot be ignored, forcing us to feel their anguish,
feel their pain and hear their voice,
the indictment we deserve for doing nothing.
And what of the oppressor, who in triumph comes to us
and will demand that we in turn should bend
to his desires and do his bidding?
Would we then acquiesce, or would we rather
search deep, deep, within our hearts,
and see the proffered friendship as it really is
– all falsehood –
then, remembering the cry of those he slaughtered,
tell him that his day is closing.