Monday, March 4, 2019

New Old Fight

The violence and hatred is breaking my heart
someone has gone and let another war start.
Can't they just see? Don't they just know,
that nobody wins when blood starts to flow.

One death breeds another they trade tit for tat
until its too late and there's no going back.
Misery and fear is all they can win
it seems they would learn, but they're at it again.

Politics, religion, money or land
none of it's worth the life of a man.
But the slaughter is wholesale from their war machine
as the soul of mankind is again heard to scream.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Friday, March 1, 2019

Which Way

Shall we march the world as conquerors
as tyrants did of old?
Amassing power and riches
for which their souls were sold.

Or should we be a Christian nation
the enlightenment of all,
not follow these crippled leaders
as they stumble toward the fall.

Thinking independent thoughts
is what made our country great,
to that rational we must return
before it is too late.

Corrupt shortsighted profiteers
hold the reins of power,
before the idols of wealth and greed
they worship and they cower.

Our soldiers guard the silk road
being told that keeps us free,
from enemies in abundance
as far as the eye can see.

We grow weary of the slaughter
vying for influence and great wealth,
as repayment for our misdeeds
approaches us in stealth.

The sand castle we inhabit
will be swept out on the tide,
then a desolate barren beachhead
is where we will abide.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Palestine

Why must you children of Abraham
fight among yourselves?
You share a common heritage
and the water from the wells.

Bad things can only happen
if you continue with your fight,
our greatest fear is that it spreads
and sets the world alight.

Traits and customs make you brothers
and you worship the same God,
dwelling upon the very land
that Moses and Abraham trod.

If the two of you could get along
that land might be a garden,
but to co-operate and reach a deal
means first exchanging pardons.

Please subdue the hatred
that’s eating at you hearts,
if not for you then for your children
they deserve a better start.

Put down your guns and seek the life
that’s good for both your tribes,
bring forth the milk and honey
the scriptures all describe.

God loves you both in equal measure
scripture tells you so,
please love him back and live in peace
to let his blessings flow.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Economies of the Soul

Tell me please the price of these;
love and peace, not war
raising children without fear
content forevermore.

To put aside the sin of pride
and live for someone else,
laying down the heavy load
of living for yourself.

Learn to see that I or me
is not where to place your trust
relying on your human strength
only when you must.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Armory

There is a room where seven swords
are hung upon the wall,
but against the words written there
they can’t compete at all.

Threatening blade can only turn
hearts so cold and hard,
but made to warm and soften by
words written by the bard.

It’s there he sits among his arms
aging veteran of the war,
seeking now to sooth and heal
soul of man remaining sore.

Battles fought have never brought
the solace people seek,
fear and pride and anger
against kindness can’t compete.

The swords he wielded in his youth
bear mute witness when,
he takes a weapon of greater power
attacking paper with his pen.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Monday, February 25, 2019

Unending Cycle

My sword I hung upon the wall
my steed put out to pasture,
the arts and letters of the peace
I've determined now to master.

Warring is a terrible thing
eating at the soul of man,
traced to the serpent in the tree
from whence it all began.

The sins of Cain hang over us
with every bloody stroke,
envy greed and jealousy
the fires of hate do stoke.

Weary now and wounded
in body and my soul,
retreating to a place of rest
my spirit to console.

Armor grown uncomfortable
remorse heavy on the heart,
hearth and field and family
beckon for another start.

Trade killing ground for cropland
and weapon for a plow,
bounty of my homeland
becomes my succor now.

Old enemies being vanquished
passion and fury spent,
remembering in bewilderment
wondering where they went.

The world turns on beneath us
rushing to tomorrow,
more lives spent in madness
drowning us in sorrow.

What be the master’s judgment
of sins done in his name
with appetite for conquest
impossible to tame.

Veterans stunned and weakened
offer counsel to deaf ears,
witness of new conflicts
leading to more tears.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Universal Soldier

There has always been one constant;
being afraid has never changed.
In men’s’ first battle they used clubs
so frightened they were deranged.

No flag or drum or bugle
could ever curb the fear,
for our very miserable lives
that are always held so dear.

Multitudes of lonely men
who sparked their women’s fears,
even upon returning
responsible for their tears.

The reasons are many and varied
that we march in anger or pride,
resolving in every battle
to avenge the ones who died.

Rolling the drums and caissons
merely increases the debt,
raising the stakes and certainty
there will be more blood to let.

The peoples’ ideal hero
they say is one who dares,
but the definition of courage
is fear that’s said its prayers.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Friday, February 22, 2019

Galling Glory

As we celebrate the sacrifice
and courage of our vets
I ponder how a monster's heart
justifies the blood he lets.

From emperors conquering neighbors
to blood feuds between old kings
tyrants fielded legions
for the power that it brings.

To slay and vanquish mercilessly
in pursuit of glory gained,
diminished his humanity
it faltered and it waned.

Making war is a wanton act
disguised so cleverly,
cloak it in your rational
twisting the truth that be.

Wave the flag call down the Gods
bend them to your will,
ambitious leaders marched to war
I grieve as they do it still.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Common Ground

They attack us
we attack them,
in a cycle of retribution
here we go again.

A holy war in the name of God
I don’t want to hear it,
a twisted misguided philosophy
the whole world has come to fear it.

The God we know says, “Love each other”
do not fight and kill,
we cannot slay our neighbor
and claim it is his will.

But the Muslim Koran does condone
the slaughter of innocents,
those who do so in his name
are a frightening development.

This rabid form of hatred
is approaching lunacy,
its escalation out of control
has long since frightened me.

Civilization could come apart
before we find common ground,
in the name of all that’s holy
somewhere it must be found.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Long Reward

Ever have men marched forth
slaves of honor and pride,
to where our grandfathers led
the places where they died.

Sacrificing on altars
that broke ancestor's hearts
changing only the faces
cast in the same old parts.

Defending the clan or kingdom
religion of whatever God,
recrossing the bloody landscape
already so hopelessly trod.

Armored knights on horses
soldiers in chain mail coats,
mixing in wars and struggles
fate landing its mighty strokes.

Warlords brought down to cower
stripped of pride at last,
admiral alone upon the sea
commanding only his raft.

When giants of understanding
free us of duty this old,
denying shopworn tradition
will be impossibly bold.

Sheathing the sword of vengeance
in understanding anew,
would mean regretting the killing
of all the men we slew.

Who then would consider our victories
reason to celebrate
if vanquishing all our enemies
caused our hearts to break.

The violent abomination
mistaken for noble cause,
come into clearer focus
and cause our hands to pause.

This growing understanding
is not easy to absorb
after ages of venerating
the power of the sword.

We suffer in mortal agony
the damage that war has done,
rebuked to stunned humility
by the dagger and the gun.

The wheels of justice turning
to the end we all move toward,
millstone inexorably grinding
the grist of our reward.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Vainglorious

Now must war be set in motion
since all recourse is gone,
loose the dogs in their devotion
ere the golden dawn.

Our patience sorely tested
and friendship badly strained
there are enemies to be bested
by troops superbly trained.

The peace will shatter anew
with yet one more onslaught
stepping over all we slew
as hosts remain unfought.

Conquest is our anthem
for all who dare oppose,
and peace remain a phantom
until our sword lies in repose.

Give us now the victory
to sate our appetites
and set us down in history
as those who won the fights.

The power of the generals
with egos running mad,
our posterity they will saddle with
the greatest empire ever had.

Until the certain rebellions
unclench our iron hand,
and armies of zealous hellions
throw down our house of sand.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Monday, February 18, 2019

War Weary

Pain and futility marched with us
for lo, time out of mind
to cruel conflicts everywhere
for there are no other kind.

We have taken ground and lost it
built fortresses and realms,
commiserated and celebrated
with emotion that overwhelms.

Wounds heal superficially
scars run to the bone,
heart and soul are broken
and we dream of going home.

Who will save us from ourselves
before all of us are dead,
the ultimate fate of soldiers
and one we truly dread.

For who can say it’s noble
to slay for cause or king,
will victory save our souls
from the judgment death will bring?

Uncertain fear should stop us
but never will I know,
as mortal pride impels us
to strike another blow.

Approaching the ultimate arbiter
still carrying our sword,
there to surrender peacefully
and finally to the Lord.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Voice of Gunpowder

Woe be to the ancient Chinamen
who gave birth to this noxious brew,
with certainty they could not foresee
the monster into which it grew.

They plucked the sword from able hands
of warriors brave and strong,
putting deadly force within the grasp
of the lowliest in the throng.

No more we march in resplendent ranks
with spear and shield and helm,
depending on heroic strength
to defeat and overwhelm.

The burst of shells and muzzle blasts
are triggered by gunman's choice,
but the keening wails of widows
is the other aspect of its voice.

Its roar eventually rivaling
the thunder of Thor and Mars,
the means of wholesale slaughter
has mistakenly become ours.

We couldn't save it for a show
merely lighting up the sky,
but turned it on our brothers
to efficiently make them die.

This recipe for human rage
brewed in the bowels of hell,
tempted us to greater violence
and we learned to use it well.

I grieve and cringe here on my knees
at the power the Gods let slip,
this talon of hateful spite and rage
they should reach down to clip.


by Robert Quinn
all rights reserved