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There is no power and glory
in the sound of grim spades
digging the graves of youth
not yet shaven but armed
for a nation's lust for power;
the sacrifice of our children
will never balance the ledgers
of good or evil, but only enrich
the makers of arms and blades.

There is no truth in the face of war
flying against the quiet heartbeat
of the universe in which we dwell;
and, too soon, generations forget
the sounds and agony of life-force
squandered, flowing down in ripped earth,
lying uneasily beneath the stones
of freedom and democracy,
put there by political will.

Yes. Politicians make wars and soldiers
expendable in the national interest,
not knowing themselves the cruel butchery
but like young children at play,
directing the slaughter from armchairs,
urged on by old men who once knew
the rattle of sabres on foreign fields
and the shining of omnipotent power,
with the sounds of steel triumphant over flesh.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR


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