The Wars We Make

(The following poem was written by Nicholas Peters just after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Peters had emigrated to Canada from Russia in 1925 as a boy of 10 and had seen firsthand the horrors of revolution and war in his native country. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 and trained as a flight officer. On the night of March 7, 1945 he died when his aircraft was hit by enemy fire. This poem is from a collection of Peter's work entitled Another Morn.)

I gaze into the world with sorrowing eyes

And see the wide-abounding fruits of hate.

We fight, we say, for peace and find the wars we make

To be a spring of hate and source for future wars.

Is there no peace for man?

No hope that this accursed flow of blood may cease?

Is this our destiny: to kill and maim for peace?

Or is this 'peace' we strive to gain

A thin, unholy masquerade

Which, when our pride, our greed, our gain is touched too far,

Is shed, and stands uncovered what we are?

Show me your light, O God

That I may fight for peace with peace and not with war,

To prove my love with love, and hate no more.

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