The Futility Of War

The Futility Of War short poem

Death; The Dealer
of the final deck of life.
No hidden agendas,
just a cold slate to wipe.

With hand and sword
or with rock and stone,
with shaft sailing deadly
through grey skies, alone.

The smarter the weapon,
the reaper delights
at a fulsome harvest
of terror and cries.

They split the atom
and split the odds,
they split the proceeds
but never the cost.

Thus, to tally the tariff
of brave men as they fall
amidst carnage and corruption,
he watches as they crawl.

The dealer doesn’t care
if they are friend or foe.
To fall is to die;
to die cold and slow.

The spear of destiny,
fate beckons us all.
Just watch as they flock
like lambs to the call.

The colours fly high on the wind,
watch them dance, yet
few will go home,
save the cruel whim of chance.

Heartbroken mothers,
bereft, hear them cry
and beseech with empty hearts,
for they can’t understand why?

No love can protect them,
no arms keep them warm.
No power over the tyrants
who promise them harm.

Like the pull of the tide
o’er seas vast and wide,
there’s nowhere to run;
there’s nowhere to hide.

The cards are now dealt
in such futile designs
and only deaths dealer
can decipher the signs.

Written by Darren Scanlon, May 2013.
This revised version written 13th March 2015.

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Darren Scanlon

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ALL POEMS ©2015 DARREN SCANLON. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. * Words and music have always played a major role in my life. A life without being able to enjoy music and express in words would be, for me, empty and cold.I have been writing since age 16, some 30+ years now but have only recently started publishing my works. Since doing so in Dec 2013, I have published 4 novels and 5 volumes of poetry, (available on words are my life. If they touch you in any way, if you are able to take something from them, then my work has achieved its goal and I am a happy man.Welcome to my world. Darren.
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Editorial Board

Vivid and stark imagery and a message which is like a bullet fired straight into the heart..Excellent writing Dartherino!

J. Phil Gutierrez
J. Phil Gutierrez

You are right on time with your poem about war. The problem is; what happens when a nation or group forces war on us; with atrocities beyond description? What can we do; die crucified like Christ?

Darren.I read your poem and it moved me to respond with one that I wrote. We seem to have very similar sentiments albeit your choice was to look at the industry of war, it’s weapons and hard death. Perhaps mine is simply the other side of the same coin. News item: NY Times AP On the new World War II Washington DC Memorial there will be a gold star for every 100 American soldiers killed. We Got Gold Stars We got gold stars For spelling bees We got gold stars For Japanese And German kids We killed before They killed us first We killed them more We got gold stars For what we did A gold star For each one hundred kids We got gold stars On winding shrouds We got gold stars Our folks were proud We got gold stars In Jr. High And then we all Were asked to die We got gold stars And we got killed We got gold stars The generals thrilled To let us make the sacrifice We got gold stars And that was nice We got gold stars We all were brave We got gold stars On every grave We got gold stars… Read more »
Randall Smith

The carnage of the brave. I love that line even it it is not true. The dead are not brave, they die lonely.
Your words return me to Viet Nam and the fear all men lived with daily. This has true feeling of war and is well done.


I like the way the poem flows. Concise sentences but with meaning loud and clear. Thanks for the wonderful experience. I specially love the way you have ended the poem.
Thanks 🙂


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