“The Waltz of War and Peace” by Edmund Evanson

The whole world is divided for me into two parts: one is she, and there is all happiness, hope, light; the other is where she is not, and there is dejection and darkness …”

– Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

I. War

A wrecker of worlds, he steers thru the barren battlefields on his red steed, broadsword swinging.

A creator of chaos, he plows thru the deadened, plundering at the expense of their anthem-

          singing.

Ho, arrogant Ares! How has the girth of thy aggression given birth to such audacious

          advancement

That incites resounding quarrels, induces reverberating quakes, and incapacitates reeling

          quarries?

Thy serpentine tongue of anarchy masquerades as the Voices of propaganda thru an

          entrancement

That mentally muddles Men’s morality and morale, and pits together their ever-opposing stories.

To cries of tremendous terror and cheers of jaded jubilance, the rifles’ roars leave all ears

          ringing.

Ho, Machiavellian Mars! Though without the bloodlust of thy counterpart, thou must still

          contend

With the paradox of achieving a fragile armistice thru the unceasing dins of such violent injustice

(‘Tis the dire duty that a soldier is soldered to), and with the profit motive of a contemptible

           trend

Netted by the purveyors of bullets and bazookas who shed crocodile tears at their bloody

          practice.

A taker of lives, he does Death’s bidding, leaving Einstein’s and Oppenheimer’s hands wringing.

A trampler of livelihoods, he razes farmlands of flourishment, yielding much recessional

          stinging.

II. Peace

A mender of the maimed, she makes the mourners sparkle and skip, shining in the morning light.

A reconciler of the renegades, she revisits the rage-ruined relationships, resetting all of them

          right.

Oh, alleviant Aphrodite! How has the worth of thy compassion sewn mirth into such cloven

          souls

That – at last! – tame all triggered tempers, trace tears so tender, and trill in tenor a truce

          together?

Although thou engaged in adultery with that Warrior, thy bared affair burned him like hot coals;

Could Shame scorch his senses and reforge his purpose – to protect Men’s mortality at his

          centre?

No methodical science ever can measure Love’s moving conscience with certain depth nor

          height.

Oh, pacifistic Pax! Thy granite will envisions idyllic ends to enmity, replaced by spiritual

          revivals.

Shelving those grenades, sailing to Grenada, and savouring grenadine cocktails and

          pomegranates

On the spiced shores in a serene summer, alongside the cordial relations of the contented rivals –

Toward these thou forgives, and mustn’t forget the Earth tugged betwixt the two diametric

          planets.

An enemy of enmity, she embraces her prodigal sons, admonishing them harshly never to fight.

A lover of lawfulness, she radiates the Conquering Prince’s gloria, judging in a raiment of white.


Edmund Evanson is an aspiring creative-writer who penned feature stories and film reviews for The Star newspaper, Malaysia’s leading English-language daily, in 2017 and 2018. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Magna Cum Laude) from Southern New Hampshire University in 2018, and his Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College (Vancouver) in 2020. He hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but spent two years of his childhood in Vancouver, Canada, from whereon his writing has continued to be vastly influenced by many Western traditions, especially the Romantics. He loves cats, spicy food, fiction across various multimedia platforms, and civil conversations on diverse topics.

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

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