War Song

War Song

A Poem by Montag


War Song

(for Teresa)




I’d like to walk upon the shore of an ancient, inland sea

dispensing ancient wisdom as a rich man scatters coins

I’d like to raise my voice unto a parched and harsh lit sky

and mix my voice together with the jeremiads that are preached

and with my lips enunciate apocalypse to come

and then to hear my jeremiad preached upon a drum

and call it down upon the world and gather all my tribe

those with whom I’ve lived and played and ate and sang and died

and rouse them to their sacred duty

then kneel to kiss a silent beauty

and has this world allowed a man to live and die like this?

and why should he accept it if it won’t?


the woman comes, the woman goes

arranging things in columns and in rows


We live by rules of feckless men and evil, harlot queens

We must invade the castle of the evil, harlot queen

They tell us no don’t do it, but I and others will it 

A battle’s fought and I emerge, a proud and lusty winner

Then I hear a placid voice inquire what’s for dinner


the woman comes, the woman goes

she infiltrates the status quo


Outside the highway makes a mighty roar

how so, upon an ancient shore?

I eat a peach, I think upon

the deeds of men, the march of history

the overwhelming mystery of the reasons that have been

a cursor blinks, a cursor hovers

the cursor dares me to discover

the warrior within, but fading in the afternoon

fading in the sun, never more to fight a war

or run, or navigate the distance

to the things that must be done


the woman comes, the woman goes

she leaves in me an afterglow

she’s given me a promise I must keep

she lays down next to me.  We sleep

entwined, my breath with hers and hers with mine.

© 2021 Montag

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Added on June 25, 2021
Last Updated on July 20, 2021



Oakland, CA

Wordsworth Wordsworth

A Poem by Montag