Poetry by Jeff Green


Who but a fool (Third version)

by cricketjeff on October 11, 2009.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

Who but a fool believes it’s right to fight?
Yet wartime sees the finest acts of men,
When evil gangs propose that “might is right”
The rest of us must take up arms again.

Who but a fool is glad when forced to kill?
A crime against the likes of you and me,
We must oppose those men who need to spill
The blood of those who chose not to agree.

One day perhaps we’ll find a better way
We’ll find the rules to do away with fools
The World will be a better place to play
When guns and wars aren’t diplomatic tools

Who but a fool thinks bravery is worth
The lives of those who can’t protect themselves
We should be glad when everywhere on Earth
The soldier’s best is found on story shelves

Who but a fool will weep when everyone
Is given equal rights without demur
When hunger pangs have given way to fun
And we are sure that fighting won’t recur

And when at last we’ve left the past behind
We’ll find new ways to see the best of men
The thought perhaps will never come to mind
That we should ever take up arms again

Author notes

This first appeared as a pair of linked sonnets with internal rhymes, but although I loved the sound I felt the cleverness was both not good enough and slightly distracting. So I rewrote it as a villanelle, but I didn’t like that so this is the thrid attempt. I suspect I shall return to it.