Circle’s End

A Sopwith flew,
as tensions grew,
Black cross on red denied.

A dozen men,
a thousand when,
lives are lost to pride.

A spawn of war,
on to more,
upon his hateful stride.

Six million Jews,
laid by crews,
who only went to hide.

Korea next,
Saigon flexed,
and the whole world cried.

Do you think your goal is new?
that when your mayhem is through…
We should think greater of you?

The circle lives because of men like you.
Just a cold, dark heart in wintry stew.

Fuck you, terrorist.
(with a little “t”)


“Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”

Ernest Hemingway




About johnallenrichter

I am an aspiring Poet and adorer of life, a conqueror of nothing. However I am a champion curator of truth and friendship and hold both of those things most dearly to my heart. Welcome to my mind's eye. I hope you will enjoy what you may find and please know that you have a friend here. View all posts by johnallenrichter

23 responses to “Circle’s End

  • Colleen@LooseLeafNotes

    War is going round in a viscous circle. I love the way you ended it and Hemingway’s quote.

  • Tony Maude

    Strong sentiments, powerfully expressed.

  • claudia

    yes…each war is a crime..and we try to justify…i wish we would find a way to stop all the killing.. the thinks that go on in north korea are frightening me..

  • Mary

    It seems a never-ending battle. I am terrified by the situation with North Korea. They are definitely a loose cannon and their leader unpredictable.

  • brian miller

    ha. i love the get in the end with the little t….ugh…what a world we live in eh? and who holds accountable? the one most powerful in the moment? korea is def an interesting animal itself…what do you do with one who has so much to prove…fragile egos…

  • Heaven (@asweetlust)

    I like that ending ~ So many cold dark hearts in our world today ~

  • ayala

    Just a cold, dark heart in wintry stew.
    I agree!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rosross

    It is also important to retain compassion. To condemn the act and not the individual. And none of us are guilty of anything until convicted in a court of law. We need to remember that. When we protect the rights of others, even those we believe have done terrible things, we protect our own rights.

    • johnallenrichter

      I certainly understand your feelings on this. As a Christian I believe all of God’s children are fallable, and we are told again and again to turn the other cheek and to listen to the parable of the man who allowed his errant son to return home. We are tasked to follow the advice given to the sinners objectionate brother, which is simply “Love your brother.” The reason behind that is something called redemption. On the other hand God also asks us to use the wisdom He gave us in everything and there are many parables that specifically tell us to use our better judgement. If I had walked into Osama Bin Laden’s compound before the Special Forces did and walked up to him and told him that I loved him and would he please come home to God, he would have cut my head off. Redemption was certainly not possible there and we as intelligent people need to recognize that. God tells us when redemption is not possible that we should shake the sand from our shoes and move on. When a terrorist builds a bomb and places it in a public place where it can kill and seriously injure innocent people, the mere implication is that all redeeming qualities are lost. I don’t mean to offend you, but I believe my stance is quite in line with God’s will and I would personally kill this terrorist myself if given the opportunity. In my honest, true, and open opinion, there is more than ample justification in the Bible for that as well. As for “rights” and “trials,” those things belong to Ceasar in my opinion, or more aptly the government, and I freely acquiesce that to them.

  • M. J. Joachim

    So many emotions for such a tragic moment in United States history. Such a sad event. I’m so glad they were caught!

  • Adura Ojo

    Hi John! Had no idea you were back on the circuit. Love your poem and the quote at the end too. War is always wrong. It never resolves anything.

  • margaretbednar

    The last three stanzas for me are powerful. Little t is an amazing ending. The whole poem screams frustration

  • Todd Alan Kraft

    If only the world could learn to resolve differences thru peaceful means…. I like the concrete image of the Sopwith. I had images of this tiny plane circling thru the air. And, the closing stanza returning to a circling image. I vacillate on the notion of justified war. I would like to believe that all conflict can be resolved by peaceable means, but the realist in me realizes that may not always be possible. I like the AAB, CCB, DDB… rhyming scheme. Very effective.

  • Pat Hatt

    With the little t
    I sure agree
    If only people weren’t so crazy
    Or view so hazy
    And could leave each other be
    Sadly I don’t think a day will come any time soon here where we are rid of such little t’s

  • aqua dragon fruit

    I love this, John:

    “The circle lives because of men like you.
    Just a cold, dark heart in wintry stew.”

  • kelly

    Cold dark heart in wintry stew… This defines it all for me. My heart aches for this world.

  • wolfsrosebud

    so true nothing new under the sun

  • Victoria C. Slotto

    I was so enthralled with how you mastered the form of this, John, that, on first read I almost missed the message. Strong expression of just anger. We are living in such uncertainty.

  • Steve Elsaesser

    WELL can I be guilty–whether or not I am caught, or convicted, or sentenced. Just a comment…

    A red, black-crossed Sopwith…how descriptive you are, Sir. Lots of questions, not many answers. Some solutions, maybe. Not going to get into that here.

    GOOD post. I like Peeps who make me THINK! (Because I so easily forget these days!)

    • johnallenrichter

      LOL! I do so enjoy a thinker Steve…. And forgetting things has become my own signature somehow…! As for offering solutions to stop wars, no, I couldn’t begin to fathom the necessary means to stop the circle of war which seems to be an innate human trait. How do you stop a baby from crying, a child from playing, or man from killing? You can’t, in my opinion.

      The “black cross on red” referred to the WW1 German military offensive, and the Sopwith stood in this poem as the allied forces who denied Germany its goal. (Though the Sopwith “Camel” was actually a British bi-plane produced specifically for air warfare. The German equivalent plane was the Fokker bi-plane. One of the most famous German pilots painted his Fokker bright red because he brazenly wanted the enemy to see him coming. That sight was usually a death toll. Baron Manfred Von Richthofen was more popularly known as the “Red Baron.” He was an intensely brave fellow who simply loved his country. Of course he had the standard German insignia painted on his red plane as well, which was a black cross. Hence the line, “Black cross on red denied.”)

      Interesting story behind Richthofens death: The allies (initially Australians) captured his body after he was shot down and died. Out of respect for Richthofen the R.A.F. gave him a full Officer’s Military Funeral with complete regalia. When he was killed Richthofen was on the tail of a Sopwith Camel and was believed to have been shot down by another British plane, a Bomber known as the RE8, which was viewed by all RAF pilots as an unsafe, ineffective aircraft. Funny that it would be the one to kill possibly the greatest pilot who ever lived. Controversy stands today that it might have been a rifle shot from the ground that killed him.

  • ManicDdaily

    You manage your rhyme and rhythm so well here, which makes the close even more striking and strong. You are right that violence is certainly no very useful solution. Hope you are well, John. k.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: