The War Is Over

“Except for deserted wilderness
what is there to protect?”


The war is over –
nobody survived.
No time to mourn the dead,
sunrise over the settling dust
was too captivating for any lament.
Crimson trails of mind’s lingering exhaust
scar-streak dawn’s early sky in smoky ribbons,
as if the dream of night exploded in a pyrotechnic blast,
as if from now on there will be only flooding daylight,
although even that wild wonder will soon fade away
until what remains is not of time, not of mind,
yet even in its poignant quiet vanishing,
true balm for every wounded heart.
Now we wake and rise
and fall breathless into this luminosity,
this sky meadow vibrant with vernal signs,
brilliant hues, and vivid budding wonders –
the ordinary evidence of everything changing,
even as we ourselves are changed
beyond all our expectation.
Something unspeakable, unimaginable,
slips deeper into the serene still presence of itself,
no longer fixed in desperate conflict with itself,
just drifting aimlessly over a killing floor
where nobody survives, nobody rises up
to tell tall tales or fabricate more glory
stories of some imaginary victory.
Yes, fight on Arjuna!
Do your best!
We’ll be down in Krishna’s Kitchen,
cooking everybody lunch.
Today’s ala carte menu will be hand-lettered
in a spicy calligraphy of love’s rocket-red glare,
with combustible garnish: heads flaming in air.
Each crispy ash-head will eventually
reincarnate as a kind of moon, orbiting
its own promised world, drifting in a space
we all once hoped would be the case
when peace ruled every planet,
and love outshone the stars.




About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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8 Responses to The War Is Over

  1. marcelvuijst says:

    Reminds me of Peter Brook’s Mahabharata’s “interesting” end scene 😉

    Bless you dear Brother and happy new year.

  2. marcelvuijst says:

    Likewise, though ironically at the time I wasn’t aware I was in a war

    • Bob OHearn says:

      Q: The war is on. What is your attitude to it?
      Nisargadatta Maharaj: In some place or other, in some form or other, the war is always on. When was there a time when there was no war? Some say it is the will of God. Some say it is God’s play. It is another way of saying that wars are inevitable and nobody is responsible.
      Q: But what is your own attitude?
      M: Why impose attitudes on me? I have no attitudes to call my own.
      Q: Surely somebody is responsible for this horrible and senseless carnage. Why do people kill each other so readily?
      M: Search for the culprit within. The ideas of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ are at the root of all conflict. Be free of them and you will be out of conflict.
      Q: What of it that I am out of conflict? It will not affect the war. If I am the cause of war, I am ready to be destroyed. Yet it stands to reason that the disappearance of a thousand like me will not stop the wars. They did not start with my birth and they will not end with my death. I am not responsible, so who is?
      M: Strife and struggle are a part of existence. Why don’t you inquire who is responsible for existence?
      Q: Why do you say that existence and conflict are inseparable? Can there be no existence without strife? I need not fight others to be myself.
      M: You fight others all the time for your survival as a separate body-mind, a particular name and form. To live you must destroy. From the moment you were conceived you started a war with your environment – a merciless war of mutual extermination, until death sets you free.
      Q: My question remains unanswered. You are merely describing what I know – life and its sorrows. But who is responsible you do not say. When I press you, you throw the blame on God, or karma, or my own greed and fear – which merely invites further questions. Give me the final answer.
      M: The final answer is this: nothing is. All is a momentary appearance in the field of universal consciousness; continuity as a name, and form as a mental formation only, easy to dispel.
      Q: I am asking about the immediate, the transitory, the appearance. Here is a picture of a child killed by soldiers. It is a fact – staring at you. You cannot deny it. Now, who is responsible for the death of the child?
      M: Nobody and everybody. The world is what it contains and each thing affects all others. We all kill the child and we all die with it. Every event has innumerable causes and produces numberless effects. It is useless to keep accounts, nothing is traceable.
      Q: Your people speak of karma and retribution.
      M: It is merely a gross approximation: in reality we are all creators and creatures of each other, causing and bearing each other’s burden.

      ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, “I Am That”

  3. marcelvuijst says:

    Yes 🙂
    It’s easy, whatever appears is but a modification of consciousness, who would go back to last nights dream to stop a dreamy war?

    I’m always reminded of “he dies for our sins” who understand these words?

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