It’s easy, starting up a war.

Don’t finger power-mad leaders who

dazzle a crowd with fake folklore –


they’re pushing at an open door,

although to say so is taboo.

Hot tip for triggering a war –


peace has a fundamental flaw:

it fails to signify who’s who.

Spin fools a victimhood folklore


then listen to their Groupthink roar

and watch them swell your retinue –

they want it too, if you want war.


Those who survive are grateful for

calm years whose charms feel (briefly) new.

Inflame dumb crowds with dud folklore


since harmony cannot endure,

a truth known to the clear-eyed few.

What does it take to start a war?

Tell them they’re victims. Stir in folklore.

First published in Snakeskin 252, June 2018