A reflection on humanity.
In 1917 my father was born,
I doubt he noticed the Great War,
or even that the Irishman
was attempting to be free,
learning the use of bombshells to be used
in Ulster decades later.
Once upon a time in Hollywood
the movies avoided such things,
now they’re the bread and butter
of innumerable blockbusters
and gritty tales of heroes.
Mankind must surely a joker be
to constantly seek some consolation
for present troubles, vicissitudes,
in picking over the smoking remains
of history’s eternal wars and conflicts,
somehow to reassure ourselves
that others made mistakes much greater
and so to clutch to our communal chest
the notion that we are better than that
and to turn away in our dreaming bed,
the better to avoid the lesson.
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