A poem from my upcoming book, The Chains of War:

The battlefield is our bastille, the bodies walls,
The swords our prison bars, the lives our lock and key.
We are the jailer and the jailed, consumed by brawls
Till war in turn consumes, leaves none among us free.

We are divided by our lands, bound to our creeds,
United only in the clash of sword and shield,
A short accord that lasts till one of us concedes,
And yet the victor to the gods of war will yield.

We fight for freedom, and for all that we avow.
We take up arms, march out, and battle to the last.
We fight for the future, and for the here and now,
And because we still wear the shackles of the past.

Conflict is the rope to bind our hands, strife our noose,
And, seeing blood, madness would have us seek out more.
It will not end till in our hearts we call a truce,
Not break the bonds of peace and don the chains of war.

[Image: The Battle of Hastings, 1066 by Tom Lovell]

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