Standing in the Killing Fields

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

At Dachau

Where they fried six million jews.

I’ve been on holiday

                To Vietnam

                                And crawled along the tunnels

Of the Vietcong.

I’ve peered out of the trenches

                In Belgium

                                Stood in the craters

Where artillery shells

                Blew living people

                                Into shreds.

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 holocaust,

                                                The public burning of witches,

Catholics, Blacks, Jews and Native Americans.

I’ve walked past the basement

                In Prague,

                                Where the KGB tortured prisoners.

I’ve wandered across Tiananmen Square,

                Visited Amrita,

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:

Be tolerant,

                Respect life,

                                Love each other,

                                                Love everything.

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!

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