The Comfort of Old Men

Photo by Jan Abellan for Unsplash. Used with permission

The Comfort of Old Men

Children are sleeping sound in their beds,
inured to the missiles launched over their heads.
They’re used to the discipline of a cruel world
where bullets are served when the flag is unfurled.

They call it allegiance their country to serve
Old men sit at tables displaying their nerve
by setting out battle plans whereby the young
provide the chests where the medals are hung

that they earn facing death so the old men can gain
more gold that the young men pay for with their pain.
They posture and pose. They salute and they brag.
They call it a privilege serving your flag,

but none of the old face the bullets and fire.
It is not the aged men marked to expire.
Their rigors of battle are all of the head.
None twist to the impact of napalm or lead,

but war’s golden rewards are amassed in their pockets.
Munitions and guns and bullets and rockets
are the fruit of their plunder and part of the fun
they will buy from the profit they make from each gun.

This generation’s blood sweat and tears
will pay for the yachts of the rich and the gears
of the factories smudging the skies with their waste.
Air chokes on their vapors, the oceans all taste

their lethal remainders and sicken and die.
We have poisoned our water, our earth and our sky.
What is left once the old men have all had their say?
They will live life in splendor and the future will pay.

Prompt words for today are inure, twist, golden, privilege and discipline.

9 thoughts on “The Comfort of Old Men

  1. SAM VOELKER

    Je suis en désaccord

    I like the poem but not the thought….. I did not get old to take advantage of the young and I feel that, proportionally speaking, not very many old men do, but they too were willing to give their all, when young, for their country, not out of consideration of the old or the rich.

    Now these old farts are too busy worrying about incontinence, how to pay the doctor bills, finding a lady friend just to talk to, or take rides in the country, stupid politicians, or just getting up in the morning.

    Maybe the greedy, the inconsiderate, the bigots, the self centered etc, but age did not bring that on, it was there all along, for instance the prognosis can sometime be an imaginary diagnosed bone spur, or an imaginary delusion of grandeur, and omnipotence, but not necessarily age which unfortunately comes naturally, while most of the rest sometime may be learned.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Talking about the politicians and the money-brokers, sam..not thee and thy friends…And every generation falls victim to these war-mongers playing their games. Our present president seems to see the military as his toys to dispense as he sees fit, just cause or not. Not that he’s the first to do so. His choices are just more random and ridiculous.

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      Reply
      1. SAM VOELKER

        I completely agree as you already know, but I need to stand up for us old men….. Maybe if we could just call them “egotists” It takes a big ego to want to go into politics and the bigger the ego the higher he can go, and the higher he goes the more he must spend just to keep on going, now here is where big business comes in, Congress must pay for those votes, and the war machine grinds on… Round n round she goes and where she stops, nobody knows. Eisenhower did know what he was talking about when he told us about the “military–industrial complex”, but how do we stop it, then what would the politicians do to buy their votes~? I guess that he had reason to wait until he had served two terms before he gave that speech~!

        https://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132942244/ikes-warning-of-military-expansion-50-years-later

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        Reply
        1. lifelessons Post author

          You remind me of my mother getting piqued at Johnny Carson for his “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” jokes. I think she stopped watching him as a result..ha.

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  2. Pingback: Confessions of an Inured Earthling – Christine's Collection

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