This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Friday, 12 October 2012

That's Why They Go To War

The bombers are flying high tonight, mother
Like silver birds they fly so high
I wish I could be in the bombers mother
Spinning white trails through the sky.

From the bombers you see, mother
The land is a picture, flat, brown and green
And the blood and the tears, mother
Remain ever unthought and unseen.

From the bombers, you see, mother
The target, whatever it’s been
School, house, or trench full of soldiers, mother
Is just a grey picture on a little screen.

The picture blows apart most satisfactorily, mother
When from heaven the bombs of freedom fall  
And TV news can show the world, mother
Green glow images of a demolished wall.

Not for bomber crew the images, mother
Of children who went to sleep
Thinking they were safe in the arms, mother
Of parents who can now just weep -

Looking at the bloody stumps, mother
Of some future footballer’s legs now gone
But things like that must, you know, mother
Be ignored if wars are to be won.

And iron wheels go roaring by, mother
As tanks crush beneath their tread
The fields from which men and women, mother
Spent sweat to win their daily bread.

You see the tanks passing, mother
In uniform the soldiers look so fine
Their eyes are fixed on the horizon, mother
Not here and now like yours and mine.

The soldiers look to the future, mother
To the horizon wreathed in flames
They fight for the nation, mother
They aren’t here to play silly games.

Emotion is not a winner, mother
In a world where might is right
And the soldiers know the truth, mother
That is why they go to fight.

You look into their eyes, mother
Why do you wonder that they cannot see
What to you is one thing, mother
Is quite another to them and me.

No wonder, then, believe me, mother
That they crush beneath their tracks
The little children the bombers killed
Lying in the open on their backs.

Life is just a stray incident, mother
Death comes as the end.
And what is the here and now, mother
Slides forever round the road’s sweeping bend.

The soldiers and the bombers know the truth, mother
That it’s better each time and by far
To do than to be done unto, mother
And that is why they go to war.  

Copyright B Purkayastha 2007

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