"One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one." Agatha Christie

Peace Slept by J. Lorian Young (69)

The jewel shone brightly,

upheld by the breath of the Universe

in its orbit around the sun.

She wept. And a river overflowed.

What is it now? she cried,

her voice thunder in the mountains.

Again the fever was high

and the child lay shivering

in his cradle.

Each time he seemed stronger,

able to survive,

the infection renewed;

wracking his small body,

wetting the sheets on which he lay,

destroying his strength

and her resolve.

It came from the jewel;

her emerald,

green and blue and glistening

in its orbit.

It was her very body,

transformed, polluted,

poisoning her baby

with every feeding.

It was the infection.

It was Legion.

It was Mankind!

Why? she sobbed,

as she held the dying child

to her breast.

She had given them everything.

Had she not made the earth fruitful?

Had she not given them a garden?

Was there not water to drink,

and air to breathe;

didn’t darkness always give way

to the light?

Wasn’t there fire to warm them,

gentle springs to cool them?

Wasn’t there a cornucopia of delights

on which to stuff themselves?

Wasn’t there enough for them all?

Then why?

Why were they never contented?

Why did they behave like dogs

afraid another has a bigger bone

from a better cut of meat,

and willing to die for the conquest

all the while missing the point?

How could they be so stubborn,

so obtuse?

How could they keep offering

up their beautiful, healthy children

as sacrifice to Carnage;

holding their very education

as a bribe to serve…if they live;

feeding their machine

with the blood of their immortality…

stroking the ego of heroics

while ignoring the courage of conviction.

Promising freedom through service,

when the only true freedom

lie dying in her arms.

The baby stirred,

his eyes wide open,

and the heavens were in them.

“Don’t give up on me Mother,”

her heart told her,

“for I am their only hope,”

And he drifted off

into a deep and troubled sleep.

she screamed,
and volcanoes overflowed
and the earth quaked.

And the battles raged,

and the soldiers died.

And the children were without parents.

And the parents were without children.

And azure hues turned to crimson

as blood flowed into the ground.

While, cradled in his mother’s arms,

Peace slept.

© J. Lorian Young
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