Journey to War

M. L. Liebler

There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
—W. H. Auden from “September 1, 1939”


Once again, we crawl through
Another tangled web of hostility,
Anger and myth, bringing to boil
All elements of war, the planned
Process of forbidden hope.

Forever our blinding passion prison
Incubates religion and patriotism
In the universal language of this world
Another inferno of death and hatred—
Our burning blasphemous spirit
Of endless talk cuts our hearts
Into shameful halves, separated and raw.

Someday, every one of these national lies,
The industry of well-oiled machines
In our factories of war, will bleed
This world unconscious through
Distortions and manufactured pain,
Guilt, prosperity and blend all history
To be written down in blood from east to west.

For the rest of our lives. This is
What love of country brings to each
To satisfy our hunger when we are more
Than fed on the hostility of this world
And emptied of all love for humankind.

 

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