Standing in the Killing Fields
I’ve stood in the Killing Fields
And seen the piles of skulls.
I’ve been sickened
By the torture camps of Pol Pot.
I’ve looked into the ovens
Where they fried six million jews.
I’ve been on holiday
And crawled along the tunnels
Of the Vietcong.
I’ve peered out of the trenches
Stood in the craters
Where artillery shells
Blew living people
I’ve stood in many a military graveyard
British, German, American and Argentinian.
I’ve read the names
On the cenotaph, the Menin Gate, Tyne Cot, and a thousand memorials.
The dead of a million wars.
I’ve visited the sites
Of the pogroms
The public burning of witches,
Catholics, Blacks, Jews and Native Americans.
I’ve walked past the basement
Where the KGB tortured prisoners.
I’ve wandered across Tiananmen Square,
Stood in Turkey where the Armenians were massacred.
Walked through the battlefields
Of Waterloo, Bannockburn, Hastings and the Somme.
I’ve read about Wounded Knee, Sand Creek and Little Big Horn.
I’ve read 1984, Das Kapital, Brave New World, Mein Kampf, Animal Farm and A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovitch.
I’ve read Silent Spring, The Biological Time Bomb and looked at the bear-pits, the bullrings and watched a live snake eviscerated on Snake Street.
There was always a good reason for all of it.
So, for me,
The message is clear:
Love each other,
The other way is torture, war, repression and death.
The history of mankind is the history of pain, torture, war, massacre, hate and intolerance.
Unless we actively change that we are destined to live it again and again.
Let’s make the future better than the past.
I’ll drink to that with anyone!