This Is How Far We’ve Come
By Nick Stanley
This is how far we’ve come.
Traffic jam in the desert,
look how far we’ve come.
Crusaders queued up for a shot at the devil;
pumped hard on rhetoric, false assertions and ruse.
Protecting in attack what isn’t theirs to defend,
taking from others what they can’t hope to impose -
Wholesome as star-spangled hamburgers;
Showdown at the oasis,
This is how far we’ll come.
For security, and secret! Fuel for the machine.
Backroom generals hemorrhaging orders,
dynasties who answer to higher authority:
vested self-interest, unmarked greed.
Antiquated scripts and selective assertions:
Please don’t feed the dictator!
We need one who can stick to our diet.
While the rest of the world chokes on the smokescreen,
Starves as they sit on a stockpile.
Their Roman concept of zenith,
a bigot’s sense of tolerance,
and a bully’s monopoly on being right.
Checkpoint in the sandstorm,
now you know why we’ve come.
Human sacrifice and human shields
sent back, painted as justification.
Casualties written into the plot,
like so many inevitabilities;
blood trickling in through the filters of truth.
Enemies or allies, assistants or assailants;
the innocents denied their innocence,
the heroes as lions of pride.
While those without the luxury of faceless death,
find glory in holy desperation:
strap-on explosives, drive-in smithereens.
Witness the same whiteness of eyes,
One cause as righteous as any other:
the fatal flaw of patriotism…
Pothole in the bombscape,
this is how far we’ve come.
Tyranny of terrain ruled by Men without mandate,
bristling in indignation;
falling over the same old body-count clichés,
terrorising the terrorists;
Every mighty claim weakened by might,
steadfast in the misconception -
violence can lead to peace.
A fracture fixed by a fist.
That no one’s going to notice,
just how expedient this is.
This liberation, this triumph,
bloodbath at the oasis,
Oh, look, how far we’ve come!
Some lopsided wild west shootout,
tombstones between the bunkers;
a mincemeat made of compassion.
Hope bleeding in a child’s hands -
beaten to be taught a lesson,
by instinct she’ll never learn.
“Is there only one colour of suffering?”
She cries, black skywards:
“Jesus, Allah, Petroleum,
who in (any) God’s name put you in charge?”