2014 Winner: The Marjorie Waters Cup for Poetry – Danny Milne

ANCESTORS

Discuss the causes of the First World War.
A standard question in a school exam.
It requires you to regurgitate a litany
of politics, murder, empire and industry
but each of these was just one final step
in the onward trudge of cause and its effect.
Each war sowed the seeds of one to come.
Blame those blasted Jacobites, Normans, Vikings, Romans, Celts,
Homo Sapiens, Erectus. Or search further still
to the knife, the bow, the sword, the yardstick or the word,
to the birth of patriarchy, grumpy gods and laws,
to Cain, to angry apes with rocks and pointed sticks,
to the Darwinian excess of life itself?
Or did a careless God just give us too much choice?

Is it just a silly question born of current myth,
where blame is always to be found
and recompense a human right?
Let’s find the guilty party then
and, whether it be man or God,
we’ll travel back and sue the sod.

So if search for cause is just for fools
what should we ask them in our schools?
Just change a word and ask once more
‘Discuss the causes of the Third World War.’

Advertisements

One thought on “2014 Winner: The Marjorie Waters Cup for Poetry – Danny Milne

  1. Pingback: Christmas Competition Winners 2014 | Paignton Writers' Circle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s