The Beast: An Anti-War Poem

Indri Schaelicke | United States

An original free-verse poem reflecting on the inhumanity of war, which the State often creates, inadvertently or otherwise.

The Beast

While politicians play in their palace of politics,

Young men are shipped across the seas

Like great wooden crates full of peas.

Each one treated as though they have no value,

A skirmish no more significant than a Tuesday dinner.

Peas roll off the plate without protest

The family’s beast gobbles them up in one swift CHOMP

Soon it is all over for that poor green pebble,

His loss has no effect on the quality of the meal

Except for the filling of the beast’s stomach,

His loss will not be noticed.

Overhead on the dining room table the battle rages on,

The clattering of fork and knife crashing loud as ever

Mashed potatoes plowed here and there

Steak torn apart and shoved into mouth.

The peas dive willingly into the heart of danger,

Believing in their illusively noble cause.

The peas are consumed while the farmer profits.

The laborer works to convince the masses

Of their need to consume peas,

Valuing the crop as no more than a minor expense.

One day the “land of the free” will awake

And stop condemning its boys to die

For self-interested men’s hawkish desires. 

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