Near but Far From Home

                                                 Giant’s March ~ Philip Brent Harris

Out for a day near but far from home,
where do you think this child might roam?
Hither, thither and even yon,
what might I chance upon? A mighty tree,
with children at play, becomes a tower,
though it changes by the hour.
A hidden trail beneath a massive thicket
Leads to their secret hideout. Yet, it
is known to everyone, though they pretend.
If you are there, inside, it is easy to defend.
When their flushes lead them to battle,
they give all they have and their sabers they rattle,
no matter which side you are on, this time
Good or bad, spontaneous, no reason or rhyme,
A game of opposites, though sometimes tempers flare.
Harsh words are spoken or, perhaps, on a dare.
Only make-believe, they mostly go home friends.
Even when the hurt is deep, they can often make amends.

The children grow  up, but the men do not.
They continue all the battles they’ve fought,
playing make-believe with weapons formidable.
With such destructive power they are much less biddable
The older they get the more frightened they grow,
anxious about more than they know.
Not about those with whom for power they vie,
Sending their toy soldiers to fight, but our children to die.
All the young men and women with unknown faces.
Stone markers in green fields the only traces.
Although there are certainly fools and tyrants lost
in the ranks of the dead, but what is the ultimate cost?
What thought, music, art, literature, someone who
would do far more in the world than they ever knew.
Paint masterpieces, compose symphonies, write books,
those good with their hands and minds that war took.
To say nothing of Kings, and Ghandis who will never be born;
this thought makes me feel angry, helpless and forlorn.
The examples I cite may not speak to you,
but I believe the sentiment still remains true.

The loss of love, truth, beauty nipped in the bud,
which in full bloom might have stemmed the flood.
Not a beautiful blossom in full flower, but a maw to devour
our future, which I deplore with all my power.

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