The Face of War

The god of war has changed his face again,
as he has been doing since the birth of humankind,
once in every hundred years, more or less
and each time his instruments changed as well…

In our early days we fought with the strength
of our knuckle and bare hands, so was his face,
brute and primitive with a rotten smell
and his approach, palpable from far away…

When we advanced to clubs and slinging rocks,
his face was renovated accordingly,
as we progressed from stone to bronze and then
to iron finally, the god of war
remade it with the metal of each age.

Then a century ago, bloody war
was fully mechanized, no more palpable from far
and a thousandfold deadlier, along with his face.

Then it was nuclear even thirty years ago
and still one could have seen his approach, though
not from far enough to outrun or hide,
his face, no more scarred but visible, at least,
unlike now when it is silent hunger and poverty,
which we can feel alright and suffer from but never see!


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