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  • Jade Rawling

The Ancient War

Jade Rawling’s poem “The Ancient War” is inspired by the uproar of romanticised battle: “I wanted to remind people that death and war isn't something to be sugar-coated. It is friends watching friends die; mothers losing their sons and daughters. It’s slaughter. We are so desensitised to it that we forget how much it hurts and how real the danger is.”

Ella Terra by Ella Martin (Instagram: @elladeemartin)

Description: This drawing came from a need for grounding and the reassuring solidity of earth in an unstable time. The drawing may recall a burial, an imagery recalled in the poem "The Ancient War", calling in mind the bodies of the voiceless victims of wars.


Is there solace in idol conviction?

What brought us here to begin with?

Among the ruins of a crippled empire,

our fingers scramble at crumbs of redemption,

hand bruised and bleeding,

the blood under my nails will stain,

and collect,

we aren't heroes any longer,

were we ever?

Tragedies of firelight and flesh,

hands like these,

they shake,

fingers twitch they remember what they've done,

knuckles of spite,

nails splintered,

unholy sacraments of broken bodies,

watch our fathers shake fickle fists at calloused deities,

watch our mothers fold flags with their trembling fingers,

what use do we have for feeble hymns of wasted faith?

Our names written in sordid songs of feeble glory,

but look at us, look at us.

our hands ready the cannons,

they clutch our dying brothers,

our fingers pull the triggers,

they bury our friends,

these hands,

these hands,

they remember.

This piece was sourced and edited by Maddie Noton, a student at the University of Edinburgh.


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