Three boys coming home from school
Nine or ten they were and playing cool
Stopped before my neighbour Dougie’s house
All manicured lawn and flowers neatly there
Then they jumped upon the grass
And threw a plastic carton on the lawn
And walked on by
I saw it all unfold
I went outside and watched them walking on
I didn’t shout that’s not the way I am
I stared at them as if to ask them why
What prompted you this beauty to defy?
I went across and picked that rubbish up
And placed it in my bin the way you do
And if those boys were here now I would say
Why did you do those things?
Why act this way?
Maybe they don’t know what prompted them
To rubbish beauty still beyond their ken
They haven’t done philosophy not yet
Or probed the inner workings of the soul
Meanwhile in Ukraine the rockets fall
Making a human wilderness
At Putin’s call
What prompts a man to send his men to war?
To kill and brutalise and yes, what for?
And you and I kill beauty in our turn
Whenever we do wrong or others spurn
Whenever we use words as weaponry
We kill beauty and maybe we know why
21 April 2022