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John Le Carre

The Cold War was over long before it was officially declared dead.

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The Cold War

The Cold War. (Norway 1964)

A group of ten men in cheap suits and hats, crew on a Soviet ship
anchored in the bay. Walked around the streets looking at window
displays. Suddenly one of the men broke away from the group,
he ran down a side road, but was swiftly caught by the local police,
who had followed the group a discreet distance; only few people
noticed the incident. The fugitive sat on the pavement crying, was
forced to join the group. The man, now surrounded by the others,
had no escape. They walked around a little longer like nothing odd
had happened, then they headed back to the docks where a boat
picked them up and drove them back to their vessel in the bay.

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Come In From The Cold

Back in 1957
We had to dance a foot apart
And they hawk-eyed us from the sidelines
Holding their rulers without a heart
And so with just a touch of our fingers
I could make our circuitry explode
All we ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold
Come in
Come in from the cold
(we were so young)
Oh come in
Come in from the cold
We really thought we had a purpose
We were so anxious to achieve
We had hope
The world held promise
For a slave to liberty
Freely I slaved away for something better
And I was bought and sold
And all I ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold
Come in
Come in from the cold
(we were so sure)
Oh come in
Come in from the cold
I feel your leg under the table
Leaning into mine
I feel renewed
I feel disabled
By these bonfires in my spine
I dont know who the arsonist was
Which incendiary soul
But all I ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold
Come in
Come in from the cold
(you were so warm)
Oh come in
Come in from the cold
I am not some stone commission
Like a statue in a park
I am flesh and blood and vision
I am howling in the dark
Long blue shadows of the jackals
Are falling on a pay phone by the road
Oh all they ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold
Come in
Come in from the cold
(I was so low)
Oh come in
Come in from the cold
Is this just vulgar electricity
Is this the edifying fire
(it was so pure)
Does your smiles covert complicity
Debase as it admires
(just a flu with a temperature)
Are you just checking out your mojo
(oohoo)
Or am I just fighting off growing old
(just a high fever)
All I ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold
Come in
Come in from the cold
(it was so pure)
Oh come in
Come in from the cold
I know we never will be perfect
Never entirely clear
(when the moon shines)
We get hurt and we just panic
And we strike out
Out of fear
(you were only being kind)
I fear the sentence of this solitude
200 years on hold
(for my loving crime)
Oh and all we ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold
Come in
Come in from the cold
(when the moon shines)
Oh come in
Come in from the cold
When I thought life had some purpose
Then I thought I had some choice
(I was running blind)
And I made some value judgments
In a self-important voice
(I was outa line)
But then absurdity came over me
And I longed to lose control
(into no mind)
Oh all I ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold
Come in
Come in from the cold
(you were so kind)
Please come in
(so kind)
Come in from the cold
Come in come in
Come in from the cold, etc.

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Steps of Gold (Cold War)

After victory the Cold War struck,
The golden steps destroyed,
That rememberance we all shared,
War took the toll again.

But this one lasted thirty years,
Never to end or start,
Nicely though there wasn't war,
In this crimson heart.

It was an arms race to the end,
God forbid open war,
For if war occured death would strike,
The men tired and confused.

The golden steps never came back,
The ones to peace and bliss,
But that is only a wish in the future,
A golden wish that is.

My poem's short unlike the war,
For death is inexpressible,
In words or actions nothing good comes,
Like many people say, for the WW1, WW2 and the Cold War,

'Two bad things, daren't equal something good'

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Cold War Kids

Cold war kids
Fight in the Somalian war in the army
And the Somalian Government use the kids as soldiers
And the Cold war kids
Are trained in the war to kill their enemies
By trowing granades to the other side of somalia where their enemies Are
Their anemies are the American soldiers

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Cold War Fifties Feb 17th,2010

i spent the Cold War fifties in Halifax, walking up and down,
On Gottington Street and Barrington Street looking all around,
In the Seagull Club and HMCS Stadacona and various ships,
Drinking beer in taverns where the waiters always wanted tips.

So I knew Halifax in the fifties like the palm of my hand,
Still sometimes locked in memories marching with Stadacona band,
Sometimes in Norfolk or Key West or Havana once or twice,
And those beautiful young Cuban girls taught us lots of vice.

Therefore we could compare Halifax with many other places,
Even many British and international naval bases,
The people of Halifax where not told about what we thought,
Nor were they bothered or in the least bit overwrought.

Feb 17th,2011

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The Beautiful Camellias

The camellias bloom in Winter when the skies are cold and gray
When the sun shines at it's weakest and the Spring seems far away
Each tree an individual by the shade of flowers they bear
An avenue of camellias of one shade of flowers more often than not rare.

In shades of pink and creams and reds the colours one might name
Each is an individual for no two look the same
The beautiful camellias resplendent in their flowers
They bloom in lawn and garden on Winter's coldest hours.

In late fall in Victoria in the Southern Hemisphere
The flower buds on camellia tell Winter days are near
And before the wattles come to bloom towards the end of July
The flowers on the camellia tree lose their petals and die.

The beautiful camellias bloom in the cold winter showers
And long before the southern spring they will have lost their flowers
And on June's coldest and wettest day great beauty I can see
A mass of pink flowers blooming on the green camellia tree.

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Joseph Rotblat

The Cold War is over but Cold War thinking survives.

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The Cold War was waged in a particularly brutal and cynical way in Africa, and Africa seemed powerless to do anything to stop it.

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What remains constant for me, during the last 15 years, has been the conviction that the cold war was a calamity for the entire world, and that it can be justified by no consideration of theory, nor by any supposed national interest.

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On The Civil War On The East Coast Of The United States Of North America 1860-64

Because of the unaccountable spirit of the troops
oh we were marched as we were never marched before
and flanked them off from home. Stupid Meade
was after them, head on to tail, but we convinced
him, finally, to flank, flank, cut off their head.
He finally understood, the idiot, and got a fort
named after him, for wisdom. He probably thought
Lee would conquer Washington from Appomattox
if he, Meade, should march his infantry behind
him, Lee. Ah well, the unaccountable spirit of the troops
triumphed, Meade got his fort, Grant got his presidency,
Sherman got his motto, what was it? War is heck?, Lee got a military school
for the education of young Southern gentlemen, and the Union
Army was taken over by Southern noncommissioned officers
in the wars against the Indians to the west. I know all
about this, I know who won, I served under them
for three hundred and fifty years in World War II,
just long enough not to be called a rookie but a veteran,
and realized the rank and order of my enemies:
first, the West Point officers; second, the red-neck sergeants;
third, the Nazis and perhaps the Japanese. I won
all of these wars as a private soldier, for a while,
and am happy to have done so: without me
Hitler and Hirohito would he ruling the world
instead of America and Russia, but I still will not
drive through Georgia with New York license plates.

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The First Time Was Not The Last

i was not yet 22
when i walked around
with a bottle of sin
in my long black wool coat
the winter’s in Chicago
were very very cold
and i never thought
of going home
instead I wandered
the isolated streets
and went into
dark murky basements
and sat over heating vents
outside of university buildings
drank my posion and
smoked my shit
on those warm blowing vents
taking away the bite of the cold
i had no direction
and i didn’t care to find one
because i was warm

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William Butler Yeats

The Cold Heaven

SUDDENLY I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven
That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,
And thereupon imagination and heart were driven
So wild that every casual thought of that and this
Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season
With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago;
And I took all thc blame out of all sense and reason,
Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro,
Riddled with light. Ah! when the ghost begins to quicken,
Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent
Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken
By the injustice of the skies for punishment?

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When The War Is Over

When the war is over
Got to get away
Pack my bags to
No place in no time no day
You and i, we used
Each others shoulder
Still so young
But somehow so much older
How can I go home
And not get blown away
Aint nobody gonna
Steal this heart away
When the war is over
Got to start again
Try to hold a trace of
What it was back then
You and i, we shared
Each others stories
Just a page thats
Lost in all its glory
How can I go home
And not get blown away
You and I had our sights
Set on something
Hope this doesnt mean
Our days are numbered
Ive got plans for more
Than a wanted man
All around is chaos and madness
Cant help feeling
Nothing more than sadness
Only choice to face it
The best I can
Aint nobody gonna
Steal this heart away
And not get blown away ...

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You Like To Talk About War Heroes

You like to talk about war heroes I'll take you to meet one today
On warm days he sits on a park chair from here in distance a short walk away
In him you may feel disappointed he is frail and aged and gray
He has blocked out most of his war memories of war he has little to say.

He is not your idea of a hero but heroes they too do grow old
Just one more forgotten old warrior the years on him in wrinkles have told
He fought under the flag of his Nation in his Country he had great pride
A survivor of the war trenches where thousands of brave young men died.

He lives alone in a one bedroom apartment in a cold and drafty place to live in
Yet in his early twenties he was a decorated soldier and medals for his bravery he did win
For him it has all come to nothing and on the reaper's call he wait
On war memorial day he does not walk in the parade he feels no cause to celebrate.

You like to talk about war heroes you come for a short walk with me
And sitting on a park chair in the sunshine a war hero in the flesh you will see
Long before your father was born he fought in a war from here far away
He is the last of his battalion his war comrades amongst the dead lay

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War Is Over

Old soldiers talk about the battles fought
To build a better world for me and you.
They sacrificed their lives to make a dream come true.
Now theyre forgotten men remembered by so few.
But the war is over and the fighting ended many years ago.
The war is over. the battles won but what is there to show?
Side by side they marched together fighting so their children
Could be free,
To build a better world, a new society
All classes unified to live in harmony
Now the war is over so lets forget and leave the past alone.
The war is over, its time for all the soldiers to go home.
Rich men, poor men make history,
Fighting for the land of hope and glory
A nations voice will sing as one,
A battle cry until weve won
The was is over and the patriotic comrades are no more.
The war is over
Now theyre going home to live just like before.
Arm in arm we sang our patriotic songs of love and sentiment.
Tears of joy to hide the sorrow,
New tomorrows till we meet again,
With a new world to build well say auf weidersein.
What did they do for us?
What did it prove to us?
As we stand beside the silent grave
The unknown soldier cant be saved.
The war is over
The war is over, its time for all the soldiers to go home.
The war is over.

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Long Before I Had Joined The Military

It was nearing the end of boot camp.
Eight weeks of basic training was nearing an end,
And my training instructor called me out of the ranks...
To say this to me,
'Horse'...a nickname he had given to me.
His name was Sargeant Russell.

Sgt Russell said to me,
'Horse, every time I've asked you to do ten laps,
You would do one more.
When I ask you to do thirty push ups,
You do thirty five.
And when your bunk is perfectly made,
After I've bounced a quarter on it...
To then rip the bed apart to shout, 'Do-it-again'
You do...
As if nothing at all is bothering you.
You want me to take you for granted!
Don't you?
You want me to believe you are a fool.
I am wise to you.
Now shut up and file your ass back in line! '

Oh...
I had not said one word.
The guys listening had expected me to.
I was all of eighteen then.
And the only thing that was on my mind,
Was to pass basic training.
Those who didn't...
Went A.W.O.L....away without leave.
I wasn't about to go anywhere.

And to this day,
I think about those comments made,
By Sgt Russell.
'You want me to take you for granted.
You want me to think you are a fool,
Don't you? '

And I thought as I still do...
He knew me too well.
He knew if he demanded I'd wear stilettos shoes,
Adorned with a red dress and a blond wig...
I would still be a better man than he thought I was.

You see...
My mama was my very first drill instructor.
Sgt Russell hadn't had the opportunity to meet her,
To know how prepared I was...
Long before I joined the military.
And I was proud to be a 'mama's boy'.

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The Origin Of The Peloponnesian War

DICAEOPOLIS

Be not surprised, most excellent spectators,
If I that am a beggar have presumed
To claim an audience upon public matters,
Even in a comedy; for comedy
Is conversant in all the rules of justice,
And can distinguish betwixt right and wrong.

The words I speak are bold, but just and true.
Cleon at least cannot accuse me now,
That I defame the city before strangers,
For this is the Lenaean festival,
And here we meet, all by ourselves alone;
No deputies are arrived as yet with tribute,
No strangers or allies: but here we sit
A chosen sample, clean as sifted corn,
With our own denizens as a kind of chaff.

First, I detest the Spartans most extremely;
And wish that Neptune, the Taenarian deity,
Would bury them in their houses with his earthquakes.
For I've had losses--losses, let me tell ye,
Like other people; vines cut down and injured.
But among friends (for only friends are here),
Why should we blame the Spartans for all this?
For people of ours, some people of our own,--
Some people from among us here, I mean:
But not the People (pray, remember that);
I never said the People, but a pack
Of paltry people, mere pretended citizens,
Base counterfeits,--went laying informations,
And making a confiscation of the jerkins
Imported here from Megara; pigs, moreover,
Pumpkins, and pecks of salt, and ropes of onions,
Were voted to be merchandise from Megara,
Denounced, and seized, and sold upon the spot.

Well, these might pass, as petty local matters.
But now, behold, some doughty drunken youths
Kidnap, and carry away from Megara,
The courtesan, Simaetha. Those of Megara,
In hot retaliation, seize a brace
Of equal strumpets, hurried forth perforce
From Dame Aspasia's house of recreation.
So this was the beginning of the war,
All over Greece, owing to these three strumpets.
For Pericles, like an Olympian Jove,
With all his thunder and his thunderbolts,
Began to storm and lighten dreadfully,
Alarming all the neighborhood of Greece;
And made decrees, drawn up like drinking songs,
In which it was enacted and concluded
That the Megarians should remain excluded
From every place where commerce was transacted,
With all their ware--like 'old Care' in the ballad:
And this decree, by land and sea, was valid.

Then the Megarians, being all half starved,
Desired the Spartans to desire of us
Just to repeal those laws: the laws I mentioned,
Occasioned by the stealing of those strumpets.
And so they begged and prayed us several times;
And we refused: and so they went to war.

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The Cold Drive And A Warm Night-Chapter Two

He watched her take the drink
still warm and she cupped it
with two hands, warming them up.
The hands were thin.
She was not a farm girl
and she averted her eyes when
she looked at him.
The face was small with delicate
features
yet they were strong in their own way.
He wondered how what kind of lover she would be..

He wondered too how she could have
made a wrong turn and gotten here.
There were signs that clearly stated
'no public road'. 'dead end road.'
She noticed his stare and pulled at
her comforter, pulled it up more
around her shoulders.
She looked at him as she did so
noticing if he was noticing, if he was looking.
He noticed her noticing.

But he did not stop looking and she
to his surprize, didn't avert her eyes.
She looked right back, examing his face.
He looked down a bit to see what the comforter
was concealing, what shape her breasts were.
She noticed this too, and blushed.
He grunted, his grunt, satisfied that he had
a good look at her and got up.
He still didn't know what she was doing there
and he would feel uneasy until he find out.

He stood, walked by her and took his coat
from the coat stand, her eyes following him.
He turned pulling the heavy coat on saying.
'I'll be back.'
Have to check and push your car
back onto the road. Otherwise, the wind
will kick up, and by morning it will be buried
and tough to get out.
Another storm coming in.
It'll be cold tonite.'

Her eyes diverted again and she said, 'You will be back?
How long will it take? '
'You'll be ok. You can call me on the spare cell phone
over there. Look up my name, Lonnie.'

She nodded.
He closed the door still disturbed about her sudden arrival.
It was not an accident. He would check her glove compartment
in her rental car, maybe some info there, he thought to himself.

Meantime, Jenny sat up drinking her tea thinking:
'Damn he will find the rental agreement. What else was in the car? '
He'll start to wonder why she was really there. She could see that
he didn't believe her 'lost' story. 'Damn her cell phone was in the car too.
Everything was in the car. Damn her purse too! He had everything.
He wasn't what she expected, younger, sort of bold in the way he
looked at you. He really looked at you. Made her a bit uneasy
but it was different to have someone look at you. I mean he looked
at everything, your eyes, your hair, your body. The man looked.
But flirting aside she knew he'd be back and she would have to explain
why she was really there.
She was safe but it might not be comfortable when he found out.

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The March Of The Dead

The cruel war was over -- oh, the triumph was so sweet!
We watched the troops returning, through our tears;
There was triumph, triumph, triumph down the scarlet glittering street,
And you scarce could hear the music for the cheers.
And you scarce could see the house-tops for the flags that flew between;
The bells were pealing madly to the sky;
And everyone was shouting for the Soldiers of the Queen,
And the glory of an age was passing by.

And then there came a shadow, swift and sudden, dark and drear;
The bells were silent, not an echo stirred.
The flags were drooping sullenly, the men forgot to cheer;
We waited, and we never spoke a word.
The sky grew darker, darker, till from out the gloomy rack
There came a voice that checked the heart with dread:
"Tear down, tear down your bunting now, and hang up sable black;
They are coming -- it's the Army of the Dead."

They were coming, they were coming, gaunt and ghastly, sad and slow;
They were coming, all the crimson wrecks of pride;
With faces seared, and cheeks red smeared, and haunting eyes of woe,
And clotted holes the khaki couldn't hide.
Oh, the clammy brow of anguish! the livid, foam-flecked lips!
The reeling ranks of ruin swept along!
The limb that trailed, the hand that failed, the bloody finger tips!
And oh, the dreary rhythm of their song!

"They left us on the veldt-side, but we felt we couldn't stop
On this, our England's crowning festal day;
We're the men of Magersfontein, we're the men of Spion Kop,
Colenso -- we're the men who had to pay.
We're the men who paid the blood-price. Shall the grave be all our gain?
You owe us. Long and heavy is the score.
Then cheer us for our glory now, and cheer us for our pain,
And cheer us as ye never cheered before."

The folks were white and stricken, and each tongue seemed weighted with lead;
Each heart was clutched in hollow hand of ice;
And every eye was staring at the horror of the dead,
The pity of the men who paid the price.
They were come, were come to mock us, in the first flush of our peace;
Through writhing lips their teeth were all agleam;
They were coming in their thousands -- oh, would they never cease!
I closed my eyes, and then -- it was a dream.

There was triumph, triumph, triumph down the scarlet gleaming street;
The town was mad; a man was like a boy.
A thousand flags were flaming where the sky and city meet;
A thousand bells were thundering the joy.
There was music, mirth and sunshine; but some eyes shone with regret;
And while we stun with cheers our homing braves,
O God, in Thy great mercy, let us nevermore forget
The graves they left behind, the bitter graves.

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Patrick White

Narcissus Lost His Face In The Mirror He Stored His Image In

Narcissus lost his face in the mirror he stored his image in
while Lady Nightshade was saying grace over the wrong coffin
rats from the shipwreck were rowing ashore
in the last lifeboat with a trapdoor in it for an emergency exit.
The holy men who couldn't speak our language
without trying to fix it with an accent of their own
were recruiting for an army on the moon
to start a new crusade against futuristic infidels
who didn't share the same direction of prayer
as the wavelengths that reached the ears of the extraterrestrials
with high ideals encoded in a scripture of esoteric starmaps
that spoke like oracles stoned on volcanic gas
so when you asked how things were going,
they always answered, perhaps, in an ambiguous tone of voice.

I was sitting in the window of a burning house
trying to write poems that smelled like smoke to the Holy Ghost,
when you showed up like a stranger's doorway
out of my solitude like the bell of a three alarm death knell
with the smile that lingered like junkmail on the threshold
of a black hole that said jump right in, there's light
on the other side of sin if you go through this
like a death in life experience in love with cosmic bliss.
Who could forget that day you came like a muse
up the leaf strewn stairs of an abandoned orphanage
looking for a heart you could inspire with the ruse
of the poetic refuse you left in the wake of your pilgrimage
like the desolation of your absence from the earthbound
that languished in the eclipse of your innocence
like a spiritual lost and found trying to make sense of itself
like a horse with a broken leg on a zodiacal merry-go-round.

I felt the fangs of your crescent moons pierce my flesh
like a staple gun under a rosebush in league
with an alliance of thorns that liked to see a poet bleed
as if the great mystery of love were nothing
but a conspiratorial intrigue of sword dancers on drugs
though I did everything I could to prove to you I was wrong
about the moonrise, you weren't strong enough to be right for once
without starting a pogrom that interrogated
the light in my eyes for all those dark winter months
I never confessed, I never cried out as if ice were my only alibi.
I sat in the corner like a left-handed guitar with a dunce cap on
and wrote out lyrics that sang like the stars with a lisp
on your celestial blackboard until I felt like Sisyphus
a note shy of pushing my heart like a moon rock over the top.

It was the immanental sixties on a grailquest
for the objective correlative of a universal paradigm
it could fight under as the sign of a revolutionary new design of chaos
that made love not war to the thunder of home-made sonic booms
in a battle of bands with saturation bombing riffs and rimshots
that urged us to surrender to the enemy as if
they were dragonflies and quarter-notes of music
in a riot of helicopters dropping tear gas over Watts.
Even the madness wasn't enough to mollify the sadness
of what we lost when everyone turned the lightshows out
in the concert halls and went back to the their atavistic law schools
to get a grip on the necks of the things they had let go of for a lark.
And the last time I saw you, before things went totally dark,
you were trying to set fire to my voice-box
like a lightning rod with bad wiring shorting out
like a bass amp on the stage of your burnt out farewell
to the audience that made a gracious bow to your frantic id
and headed for the exit like an arsonist long before you did.

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