All Wars

David Rowbotham

I have thundered along it, hidden, unheard,
A horseman, in the biggest desert known.
To the leather legions of the foreign horde
It’s pursuit, the killing time,
The slings of Mars,
And glory’s the fossil of its wars.

Nothings has changed but the birthday of the mind,
The weight of the wadi and the weapon’s worth,
The thirsty whine of the animal wind, and earth,
The hail-stone, shooting the pallid stars,
And all our children — gone.

All wars are one another,
And whereever I fall I’ll choose
Fields of shutters and the shining rose
Where the villages of Picardy,
In the wnters of my father,
Slumbering, close,
On pain from a paralysed dawn.