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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: War and Peace (not about the book) (07/07/11)

TITLE: The War for Peace
By Benjamin Graber
07/08/11


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Iíve spent a fortune of blood,
Clinging to the threads of control
Which snap at each blow
From my enemy.

For a thousand years Iíve fought
To keep his wrath at bay;
Iíve even given the best
Of all my wealth, in the hope
A bribe could purchase a truce,
But all my best
Was never enough.

Peace was all Iíve wanted,
Ever since the day I came
Into this world
With a scream of fright.
Peace, so I may bask in my riches
And, for once in my life,
Live just a minute
For me.

But the war continues,
In spite of all my pleas,
In spite of every bargain Iíve made.
Peace could not be purchased,
So now I spend every day
Carrying a bloody sword,
Swinging wildly,
Desperately,
With the faint hopeó
Tainted by despairó
That somehow I could strike
The deathblow
That would end the war.

Alas!
Every blow Iíve given
Has hacked my heart,
Not my foe.
My desperate clinging
To myself
Is killing myself!

But when despair
Had claimed my soul,
A hope arose.
My foe, seeing my refusal
To surrender,
Gave up the fight
And accepted the cross
Where I nailed him.

At last I won my peace!
I claim the freedom
To bask in myself.
Victory is mine,
To spend eternity
Clinging to the bloody threads
Of control of my own life,
Like a puppet clings to
The very strings
That chain him.

But as I bask
The threads continue to break
One at a time,
Under the weight
Of my own selfishness,
Revealing the lie
That I called freedom.
I realize that what I need
Is the peace of knowing
Someone loves me,
Not the crushing truce
Of my own control,
And I despair.
Still I fight,
Not against the one
I called my foe,
But against myself,
As I try to claim the peace
I cannot win.

But my foe did not give up the fight;
He conquered the very grave
I laid him in.
He never fought against me,
But for me,
Fighting against the very threads
Which strangle me.
And someday
Open eyes will see the lines
Written on the subscript
Of every page of the war:
That the one I thought I fought
Loves me,
And I can find peace
Merely in the choice
To lay down my sword.


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This article has been read 404 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Francy Judge07/14/11
A lovely poem. Beautiful descriptions, beautiful message.
Lillian Rhoades 07/14/11
You've given voice to every man's conflict. I heard echoes of Paul's inner conflict in your poem. Lots of descriptive phrases. The last three lines are among my favorite, and a fitting end to the piece.
Lisa Johnson 07/14/11
At first I did not know where this was going...the further I read, the clearer it became... until the end...at which point, all I could say was "awesome."
Noel Mitaxa 07/14/11
Very descriptive imagery that echoes the truth that a living sacrifice will always want to get up off the altar.
Graham Starling07/21/11
Eloquent, exceptional, exquisite. An unusual but appealing start leading to the triumphant surrender of self to love. This has 'I wish I had written that' stamped all over it. Or is that my self speaking?
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/22/11
Wow what A powerful piece!

Congratulations for placing 7th in Masters and 11 overall!