Maassluis West

by Richard Vince

Some words only make sense when
You hear them; to an uneducated eye,
The glue binding the components
Becomes invisible.

It’s all about water: where it is,
Where it isn’t, and how the two
Are kept apart, a triumph of
Humanity’s ingenuity over
Nature’s brute force.

And when they had dammed the rivers
And pushed back the seas,
Their collective gaze turned upwards
And outwards.

Perhaps conquest is like a drug;
The opiate of a people who strive
For dominion over ever greater lands,
Seeking ever greater thrills through
Crushing ever greater foes.

We need not cross a sea to see this.
Our own land is littered with
Reminders of the ink we spread
Across the map that obscured
The blood we shed, blood that looked
Just the same as ours if we
Took the time to see.

True, it was long ago, but the earth
Is still darkened by our deeds,
And invisible wounds are no less real.
Unseen scars take longest to heal.

And now, not too many years on,
We are trading friendship for
Aggression, hoping to better ourselves
No matter who is worsened.

We believe our own propaganda:
The victors’ version of history.
We are gazing upwards and outwards,
Our ploughshares turned to swords
Once more.


Posted on 03/11/2018
Copyright © 2021 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 03/12/18 at 07:54 PM

I rarely give a "brilliant". This hits all the notes for me. You revisit history with a keen eye and bring us into our present world relationships quite clearly.

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