VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War
About VVAW
Contact Us
Image Gallery
Upcoming Events
Vet Resources
VVAW Store


Page 24
Download PDF of this full issue: v43n1.pdf (21.1 MB)

<< 23. Women in Combat: Can We Talk About This?25. Cheating the Reaper (poem) >>

How to Live with Killing (poem)

By Horace Coleman

[Printer-Friendly Version]

Every thing's a toy, a tool or a weapon.
The Weapon Wielder's tools can be fun to use.

It's the use, the trained user and the cause or
accepting the creed and not taking a pause
that's really responsible for the deed. Wanting some
certainty, safety, pleasure, having fear, anger, or greed.
Any thing can set loose a barely suppressed need.

Maybe it's the culture, the zeitgeist, politics or religion.
A nation's history, style, habit, customs, the nature of
human beasts on or off their leash. Even if they do
lurch to a mosque, synagogue or church every some time.
Science, technology or medicine don't always purge
the urging worms crawling in souls and minds.

But what difference or excuse does that make?
You can cut up, stab, slash, bash, burn down,
poison, strangle, mangle, push off a cliff
or throw out of a window, blow up,
drown, run over or down, maybe hang.

Or simply shoot. It's all the same.
Any excuse can set true nature lose
and turn away blame.

Some folks say "They needed killin'!"
Someone's got to do it.
It's our way . . . .

No matter the method, means or motive,
all killing requires is to be death devoted.
Life's rugged climes make us
struggle through "interesting times."

Who you're hunting makes no difference.
Just shoot. And don't give a hoot.
Except in happiness.

Besides, violence is
only lastly physical.

—Horace Coleman

<< 23. Women in Combat: Can We Talk About This?25. Cheating the Reaper (poem) >>