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Obiter Dictum II
And every leader
with wars un-foreswore
should heed this grim rejoinder
while they blether about pressing needs for war
for the blood they let, returns upon their shore
and gambling with the lives of others
from the safety of their office
is history's greatest criminal offence.

The day soon will come when
by hangman's soapy halter
or revolutionary's zealous musket
or even terrorist's invisible WMD
thou wilt be tried in kind
for your war crimes small or great
as a naif matter of course
for the bloody visions
you would have visited upon
the gulled fools within your state.

And the bravest leaders yet
who begin now to decry
war's putrid solicitations
can "sure as shooting" win the world,
and ten times over, and all
and on a platter
with the love of all its peoples
well within their clutch
to rule as sweetly
as the bespangled petals
of the many roses
their feet would touch
over such displays
as they should rightly walk

and everywhere they'd go
the patient rose would grow
for that day on which
their scattering begins.
Copyright © Ben Kross

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