Poetry With A Mission

...a thought provoking poetical exercise.


Criminals At War

“Why do some soldiers rape, Dad? “You mean, rape their enemy?”
“Yes, Dad, horribly assault some women sexually.”
“Well, son, it’s not simply because they hate their enemy,
But rather, more because of lust and opportunity.”

“You see, it takes a man, a real man, to refrain from such, son,
One who doesn’t hide behind a uniform or a gun.
One who shows principle, one who exercises control,
One whose conscience is as true as the needle to the pole.”

“Some soldiers have a distorted sense of justice, sadly,
Or are merely reflecting today’s ill society.
Hence those war crimes we hear of, those acts of depravity,
That are carried out by soldiers in the military.”

“Like torture, Dad?” “Yes, son, or those rapes that you referred to,
But war crimes are many and varied, and they’re far from new.
They’re as old as history, wickedly inventive too,
The product of evil in the hearts of those who such pursue.”

“Those soldiers who commit such, are as bad as their enemy,
Or worse, if they, not their foe, profess Christianity.
You see, no one truly Christian, (and in the military),
Would commit such crimes, nor act so hypocritically.”

“There have always been soldiers who have acted shamefully,
And in war, often anything goes — that being, wickedly.
Yes, despite commands from above, and established boundaries,
Some will act unlawfully, immorally, do as they please.”

“A soldier is only as good as his character, son,
It has little to do with his uniform, skill or gun.
He may be a fighting machine, earn a medal or two,
But if he’s not sound within, he’s a threat to all, in my view.”

“One way or another, son, we reap what we sow — soldiers too,
Along with those who evil for evil wrongly pursue.
The latter just perpetuate evil, aid and abet,
And those who act that way, just set themselves up for regret.”

“What about justice, Dad?” “Well, son, life isn’t always fair,
And when it comes to justice, it’s not for us to interfere.
We can go as far as we can — that is, legitimately,
But beyond that, son, we’re crossing a dangerous boundary.”

“Yes, we become like those soldiers, those criminals at war,
Who brush aside human rights, and someone’s pleading ignore.
Unless we take the high road, (despite injustice or pain),
We might become criminals too, and our character stain.”

By Lance Landall