The Last March

There is never one. The last is but what you remember, and a man’s bones are only so long.

“And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.” “And the young people ask what are they marching for / And I ask myself the same question / …the old [ones] still answer at the call / But [I fear] year after year the numbers grow fewer / [And I fear] Some day no one will march there at all.” ‘Fear is the key,’ and peace such a misspent thing.

And the fiery pacifists will jump upon this bit and applaud. The backseat warriors will frown. How do I describe what duty is? How do I speak of ‘noblesse oblige’?

To men who have not learned when to fight and when to burn, there can be no arbitrage of things to be done. And women so eager to enjoy the spoils of peace: heaven is not here, it needs more than a glass mountain to rest on. Tin hats cannot be made into beggars’ bowls, guns cannot be clogged with milk and honey.

There is much to be done at home and with Self, and the tide has begun to come in again. We cannot turn our faces away in pity and fear. There will be no peace unless we learn to make and guard it and lose what we value for the sake of what we love.

If ‘we’ love. Perhaps there is no ‘we’ in Time, nor love, nor war, only renewals of act and apocalypse.