Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

Hairsbreadth - Poem by Tony Jolley

They’re our stock in trade:
Compulsion –
We wield them all as weapons of war undeclared
Upon the eternal theatres of ‘Us and Them’
And the only slightly smaller stages of ‘Me and You’;
Determinedly pushing back the other’s frontiers and frontlines
To where we would personally prefer them to be
In some spectacularly myopic perspective on reality
With attacking formations of Division-strength information,
Artillery bombardments of laser-guided arguments,
Platoons and dragoons of situational analysis
Designed to decimate and induce paralysis.

To every proposition a counter position,
For every suggestion a stock ‘No’ rejection,
Ever a ploy or a trump to be played,
Every inch of ground - a mile to be made;
And yet.....

If we ever would wish to take the peace dividend
Recall our forces, put this madness to an end,
What on earth could we hope to hold in common
With a foe whose injuries can’t be forgiven or forgotten....?

Stray a hairsbreadth from where you know your heart true
No matter what anyone would have you to do,
No matter how close or loved they may be
It’ll rankle and hurt you eventually,

And similarly.....

Try to think before you would seek to implore
Someone else, for your sake, to leave their own ‘shore’,
For they’re sure to leave something of themselves behind
Not the least of which, their peace of mind.

Comments about Hairsbreadth by Tony Jolley

  • (6/19/2008 2:48:00 PM)

    Do I percieve a wee bit of anger underlying this? A strong point(s) well made as usual. As in 'Sciatica', a lot of weapon imagery to drive the point home (pun intended) . Perhaps future (pun) dits will look on this as your 'aggression period'.
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  • (6/19/2008 4:30:00 AM)

    I liked the argumentation and the last stanza spoke volumes to me. Thanks Tony. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 19, 2008

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