A New Jerusalem

In terms of catharsis over the Iraq experience, something I and my comrades volunteered for after all, this poem was a turning point for me because it allowed me to enunciate how I had gone from being an advocate of the use of military force in Iraq to opposing it.

The first line came to me late at night and was followed by furious scribblings for an hour.

A New Jerusalem

I vowed to thee my country all earthly things above
I donned a soldier’ uniform and left the ones I love
I took another’s country
I stole another’s land
And fought there with my countrymen
Who died amidst the sand
And though we went there willingly
War’s flame that burnt so bright
Consumed my love of country
And faded into night

Yet now I’ve left the colours
I see the foe at last
Not those of other nations
Nor enemies long past
Our evil lies within us
Those men who can’t see wrong
Who for the love of power
Will sacrifice the strong
They’ve cast away our history
They’ve torn up all our laws
And thrown our nation’s young men
Into endless petty wars

But now’s the time of reckoning
And now the tide has turned
Our faith shall be rekindled
False idols will be burned
And from the pain of suffering
And from lost innocence
We’ll resurrect our country
Regain our inner sense
We will build a new Jerusalem
In this green and pleasant land
And our work will stand as legacy
To the dead left in the sand.

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