The smoke of war

The lingering smoke

of war

still fills our brains,

still hangs quietly

over our grand memories

and national stories

of heroes and quests,

losses and gains,

cruelty and courage.


In this reverence

for the Fallen,

embodied in rituals

and symbols,

we look through the smoke

straining to see,

in the fading light

of history,

the fighting

and the dying

and the reasons for it all.


The smoke of war

cannot be

blown away by

some wind of change

or season of debate,

for, despite its presence

in mythical realms

and great lofty peaks

of heroic thought,

it hovers there still ,

hovers potently over

the graves of

the young ones gone,

who, by their thousands,

will never return,

never live but

in the clouded memory

of those who

still see the smoke.