Restraint

(1)

We will not kill today
That’s what we say

No brave promise for tomorrow
We simply will not kill today

Yes, I paraphrase two ships’ narratives
One account affirming a mission of

Exploration without agenda
The other a mission to rescue

One who had lost the title virtue
In the self-destruction of temptation

And, when discovered, he was lost and gone
Trust, spirit, spark all gone

Of what was self-surrendered in exploitation
Of what mattered, of what might have been

And owned without the costs
And for life and the length of days

(if you know these references, fine
if not, no matter, please read on)

We will not kill
Not simply the body

We will not kill the spirit
We will not damn another soul

Which is the cost of wanton
Killing now of body or will

(2)

Whatever the source of final justice
Nature, truth, us—or God of all

We must do better. we must rein in, we
Must place our stronger arms upon

The arm that thieves, that takes, that
Destroys, at last, the hope of all

And we must say, Enough
For the betterment of our days

Enough to stop, let live—so that we might openly gain
From the qualities and quantities of what we have and are

In safety, love, and life
For all

Enough so that we might have
Enough

(this is a piece to accompany yesterday’s poem about human horror; because someone wrote about what matters, I have written both works in response and written in tribute, because victims must be rescued and perpetrators caught—all that must change; how much better could it be if we would change ourselves)

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