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Jun 232010

PoetsAgainstWar.net continues the tradition of socially engaged poetry and literature that stand as a voice against war, tyranny and oppression.  War, tyranny, and oppression can come in many forms and can be fought in many ways.  But if there is no will to fight and the capability to go with that will then there is no fight.

“Si vis pacem, para bell”

Which means, “Let him who desires peace be prepared for war”

History has taught this hard lesson time and time again.  Pacifism is not an option but a plan to fail. There is an ancient Chinese proverb that states “It is better to keep your soldiers idle for a hundred years, than to find them absent for one day”.  This has proven true for thousands of years.  A quick look through history and time and time again the idealistic view of pacifism has caused nothing but death and destruction for millions denying the very peace that was sought.

Throughout the entire human existence one has always raised a fist, stone, sword, or gun to another.  It cannot be denied that war is a part of human nature and to do so is a fool’s game.  So the only way to obtain peace is to be a strong, compassionate, and moral nation.

Peace through strengthPeace through strength is not a new concept to America.  The idea of peace through strength was paraphrased in George Washington’s first state of the union address, as well as by Presidents Lincoln and Reagan.

Most wars start when a countries leadership or a dictator like Hitler believe they can start a conflict against a weaker neighbor and quickly win. Often there are even warning signs like small test or aggressive steps to make sure that no one is going to put up any real resistance (e.g. – rebuilding the Luftwaffe, occupying the Rhineland, annexing the Sudetenland, annexing Austria, invading Poland). Once able to confirm that no one is going to stop a conquest by force, it is time for an all-out attack.

The way to stop most wars is to make everyone believe that you have the means and the will to stop any aggression. Reagan won the cold war without firing a shot. He did this partly by launching the greatest arms race in history which eventually collapsed the Soviet Union.  He saved millions of lives, created millions of jobs, and ensured peace for many years to come.

Clinton allowed about a half dozen attacks in the 90s without any reprisal, (e.g. – World Trade Center, USS Cole, etc.) We did not respond to these terrorist attacks on our national interests. As a result, Bin Laden would joke about how the USA was a “paper tiger” that did not have the stomach for war. It was believed that a few American losses would make us pack up and leave.

After the 9/11 attacks America once again showed its willingness to engage in a military response and has been free of attracts on American soil for ten years and counting.  Also as a result Libya dropped its weapons of mass destruction program and even invited inspectors in to haul away it research equipment.  Iraq who actually used weapons of mass destruction on Iran, its own people, and invaded two other countries is no longer threatening others around the world.  Imagine how many lives would have been saved if the US had finished the war in 1991.

yellow ribbonSo it is important for America to remember our soldiers, keep our military strong, and be willing to go pound on some bully every now and then when forced to.  For if we don’t then the bullies will grow in number and we will wake up one day to the very war we were trying to avoid.

Bird of Evil Flame

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May 222010

By Donald Benson Blanding was an American poet who lived from 1894-1957  (believed to be public domain)

I am the ageless Bird of Evil Flame.
Eve knew my name.
With bitter tears she tried to quench the spark
Of envy in her son’s bewildered heart. The dark
Fumes, stirred by my swift subtle wings,
Clouded his eyes with acrid billowings
Until the tragic flood.
Of brother’s blood
Left its indelible stain . . .
The Mark of Cain.

I am the Great Incendiary,
My swift flights carry
The ember to the flame, the flame to burning brand
Until a fiery scourge consumes a stricken land.
I feed ambition’s fire,On its red raging pyre
A nation’s honor burns to smouldering ash,
My pinions lash
The coals of racial hatreds into cruel
Tyrannies of blood-lust, spilling the fuel
Of lies, the quick inflaming dust
Until the flames that flicker through the crust
Of Hell are flaring in each race and nation.
I am the Endless Conflagration.
I am the sullen cinder,
The inflammable tinder,
I am not quenched, but fed, by tears.
These years of war have been my greatest years.
Peace thinks she buried me . . . the grave is shallow.
The clods that weight my wings are waiting, fallow,
For seeds of flame sown by my fertile breath.
The seeds are fear and greed, the harvest Death.
I am Delirium, the Insidious Fever,
I am the ultimate Deceiver,
I am the ageless Bird of Evil Flame.
You know my name

Apr 022010

by Ju­lia W. Howe, 1861

This hymn was published in the At­lant­ic Month­ly in 1862 and was sung at the fun­er­als of Win­ston Church­ill, Sen­at­or Ro­bert Ken­ne­dy, and Pre­si­dents Ron­ald Rea­gan and Ri­chard Nix­on.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.


An Ode to Medicare

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Mar 232010

Here is a funny poem about Medicare by Rylan Ollivier found on a website called poemhunter

My heart valves feel fine, but my knees not so much,
just to reach my med’s, I’ll need a sturdy crutch.
My neck isn’t sore as much anymore, which is more than you can say for my leg,
it feels like an elephant is sitting on it, just a little more vicodin I beg!

My thymus is bruised, my pericardium is infected,
I have a large cancerous lump that the oncologist never detected.
My toe nails are green, my sclera is red,
the migraine keeps pounding and pounding in my head.

The fever went down, but the chills make me shiver,
and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this,
Don’t drink from the Snake River!

MedicareFor those who are not familiar with Medicare, it is A federal program that pays a portion of the health care expenses for people aged 65 and older. In most cases a person must have paid into the system for a period of ten years to receive Medicare Part A that covers hospital cost.  For doctors insurance called Part B a person must pay a monthly premium that come out of your Social security benefits.  Both Part A and Part B are very beneficial but they do leave some out-of-pocket expenses that can quickly add up when serious medical situations arise.   This is why more and more Baby Boomers now retiring are purchasing Medicare supplemental insurance also know as Medigap. Medicare supplemental insurance comes in ten different plans and levels of coverage, but Medigap plan F and G are the most preferred.  It is best to get Medicare supplement quotes online from a single independent insurance agent.  To find an independent Medicare supplement agent that will treat you right click here.


Historical Poetry

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Sep 272012

Poetry of war goes back centuries.  This poem comes from Lord Byron in 1820

When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,
Let him combat for that of his neighbors;
Let him think of the glories of Greece and Rome,
And get knocked on his head for his labors.

To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan,
And is always nobly requited;
Then battle for freedom wherever you can,
And, if not shot or hanged, you’ll get knighted.

I was discussing the poetry from previous time periods with my father.  As he looked up from clipping a Chilis coupon we discussed the differences in the glorious poets of previous centuries and the more recent anti-war poets.  It is amazing the short period of time that it took for the artistic among us to turn from writing about glory to chastising those who fight for freedom.  I hope that as people head out to the Black Friday stores this thanksgiving they will remember to be thankful for all those who have fought and died for freedom.

Aug 142012

This is a poem written by veterans at the Wellsville retirement home.

“‘America.’ That’s all you need.” And so it was.

America, By Residents of Wellsville Retirement Community

Saluting the flag




Peace on earth

Hometown Hero

I was a Corporal



Marching band



The National Anthem

Crown thy good with brotherhood

Americathe Great

Americathe Beautiful

The children took part in it


Be still and know that I am God.

Veterans should be some of the most respected people on the face of the earth. Often, they sacrificed their family and lives to fight for freedom. A lot can be learned from veterans. Veterans in nursing homes often get their benefits paid for by the Veterans Administration. I speak with a lot of veterans and they often wonder if they need a medicare supplement since they have VA benefits.

The answer is not always so easy. It really depends. If you do not have a medicare supplement and need to see a doctor outside of the VA, you might end up paying the 20% that Medicare does not cover.

We get a lot of emails from veterans in Texas. A recent conversation lead us to look at a Texas Medicare Supplement company for a friend. If you are in Tennessee like so many of our veteran friends, you can check out Tennessee medicare supplement information as well if you are in the market for one!

We have found that it is best to get quotes from multiple companies and do proper research if you want to purchase a medicare supplemental insurance policy.

As always, we enjoy recognizing good poetry and also submissions from veterans who are poets. And, by nature of what we do, senior veterans often ask us about Medicare related insurance questions. We do not always know the answer but will try to research and medicare questions you might have!



Veteran’s Day

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Jun 232012

By author unknown

Thak youHere’s to you, son
Though you’re so far away -
I think of you always,
But especially today.

You’re part of the millions
Who’ve gone on before
Millions of soldiers
In peace and in war -

Their spirits watch over
All the soldiers like you
And comfort the mothers
Of soldier-sons, too.

Some of us are gone
And some are just far -
All of us are proud
Of just who you are.

So when you feel tired
Or lonely or blue,
Remember that someone
is thinking of you….

It won’t ever matter
The place or the day -
There’s somebody with you
Each step of the way.

The Silent Ranks

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Jun 232012

by author unknown

I wear no uniforms, no blues or greens.
But, I am in the military, in the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders. Salutes I do not give.
But in the military world is where I live and am rarely seen.
I am not in the chain of command, orders I do not give or get.
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget.
I am not the one who fires a weapon, Who puts his life on the line.
But my job is just as tough, I’m the one who is always left behind.
My husband is a patriot, a brave and pride filled man.
And the call to serve his country not all can understand.
Behind the lines, I see things needed to keep this country free.
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do my kids and me.
I love the man I married. The military is his life.
So I pledge to support my hero and stand among the silent ranks known as

Army wife

Jun 232012

By Isaac Rosenberg – a poem from World War One

The darkness crumbles away
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet’s poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver -what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in men’s veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe,
Just a little white with the dust.

This poem describes one day on the battlefields of France against the Germans in 1916.   The soldier is talking to a rat that is capable of interacting with soldiers on both sides and jokes the it’s fraternizing with the enemy could lead to execution.  The poppies seem to have multiple roles in this poem.  They represent a good luck charm as the soldier places one behind his ear.  Poppies also grow well in recently disturbed ground so they likely grew were the dead solider were buried. The red of the poppies also could represent blood.

Jun 232012

By Hannibal Cox March 30 1864 (a soldier in the 14th U.S. Colored Troops)


From a man of no education.  And have been doomed to slavery –

During life, and was born In Powhatan Co. and was raised in –

Richmond Virginia. And I am now a Soldier In U. S. Army. –

And I will Speak these few words In Answer to all whom it –

May Concern. Where Ever it may roam.

I have left my wife And Children but –

Tho. I. have not yet forsaken them. and made one grasp –

at the Flag of the union and Declared it shall never fall– –

For we love it like the Sunshine, and the Stars and azure air. –

Ho for the flag of the union. the Stripes and the Stars of light.–

A million arms. Shall guard it. and may god defend the right.–

Ay, brothers let us love it, and let Every heart be true.–

And let Every arm be ready, for we have glorious work to do.–

Ho. for the Flag of the union. the Stripes and the Stars of Light.–

a million arms shall guard it. and may. God defend the right.–

I. Hope we may meet again In the bonds of love to greet

fare well I hope History may tell

Hannibal Cox

Co. B. 14th U. S. Colored Troops

Chattanooga Tenn

march 30th 1864

The Soldier’s Dream

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Jun 232012

by Thomas Campbell – born in Glasgow on 27th July 1777

Our bugles sang truce; for the night-cloud had lowered,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.

Methought from the battle-field’s dreadful array
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track:
‘Twas autumn; and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed my back.

I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
In life’s morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strains that the corn-reapers sung.

Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
From my home and my weeping friends never to part:
My little ones kissed me a thousand times o’er,
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fulness of heart.

“Stay, stay with us aE” rest, thou art weary and worn:”
And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.


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Jun 232012

by Ernest Hemingway

Soldiers never do die well;
Crosses mark the places,
Wooden crosses where they fell,
Stuck above their faces.
Soldiers pitch and cough and twitchaE”
All the world roars red and black;
Soldiers smother in a ditch,
Choking through the whole attack.

Soldiers never do die well;
Crosses mark the places,
Wooden crosses where they fell,
Stuck above their faces.
Soldiers pitch and cough and twitchaE”
All the world roars red and black;
Soldiers smother in a ditch,
Choking through the whole attack.

High Flight

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Feb 232012

by John Gillespie Magee (1922-1941)
A Canadian Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.