by angeliska on March 21, 2003

in the fifth grade, we were given the task of choosing
a poem to memorize and recite before the class.
my father suggested this one to me,
and i remember at the time, even as a child,
recognizing its relevance, and being quite struck with it.
it is no less so, now..
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
-The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats
all wars are one war.
this is one no different-
it may seem like ours,
but it isn’t, really.
it seems that way because it’s televised, sensationalized
it’s occuring in our lifetime, and unlike any other war
that’s happened in our timeframe, this one makes us feel threatened.
in this country, the battlefields are older and smaller,
covered with grass and bare whispers of the fallen-
you can’t smell the blood in your nose,
and no one in your family has had their legs blown off.
“From early morn unto eve
And from eve unto dawn
Tempered arrows fly…”
“…On dawn of the sixth day the pagan warriors began to storm the city, some with firebrands, some with battering rams, and others with countless scaling ladders for ascending the walls of the city. And they took the city of Riazan on the 21st day of December…And the Tartars cut down many people, including women and children…And they killed without exception all monks and priests. And churches of God were destroyed, and much blood was spilled on the holy altars. And not one man remained alive in the city. All were dead. All had drunk the same bitter cup to the dregs…” -Zenkovsky, p. 179.
this is a musing on the cyclical nature of time, and the apparently constant memes twining throughout the history of our life on this planet, our civilisation.
honestly, i don’t see the point in this, or any of the wars- though i’m sure they could be pointed out- whether it would matter or not is debatable, since i’m not a believer of utopia, at least not a utopia on any kind of grand, global scale..

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