The Sun is Also a Warrior
by Leslie Fish

Two men walked on a beach in the sun. One left footprints; the other left none.
One was a man that no man obeys, the other a god from the ancient days.
The sun is also a warrior.
Knowledge can also destroy,
Nor can the kindest will
preserve you from the kill.
Not all of wisdom brings joy.
"Look," said the man, "How my kind make war.
I summoned you here to ask 'What for?'"
"For wealth or land," the god replies,
"For pride or freedom, or Some king's lies."
"Four of those five," the first one said,
"Are not enough to appease the dead.
To save my world, all this strife must cease.
So now I bid you to conjure peace."
The god said: "Yes, though it grieves me sore,
For I was also a god of war,
And I remember what you forget.
Four of those five you may still regret."
He raised his voice and he raised his hand.
All strife stopped at the god's command.
No voice ventured an angry word.
No hand struck, and no weapon stirred.
In time the man called the old god back.
"Look," he cried, "what my people lack!
One lord rules over all the earth,
And we're all his slaves from the hour of birth."
"He owns all wealth and he owns all land.
We starve and die under his command.
He speaks the truth and he gives us peace,
Yet all I hope for is our release."
The god said: "Yet this is what you willed.
For only thus is your wish fulfilled.
War's five sources I've turned away,
Yet I will give four of them back today."
He raised his hand and his voice once more,
And all the world overturned in war.
And when the last of those fires let fall,
There was no lord in the world at all.
"Go rebuild now," the old god said.
"Feed the living, and bury the dead.
And remember this when you think of war,
And think upon what is worth fighting for!"