Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Once the Eyes Have Seen



Once the eyes have seen,
they cannot un-see.
I cannot speak of
the things that I have read,
that I can never, now, not know.
Books have taught me that the world
can never live in peace
until social justice
is what we sow.

The young men are coming home
traumatized by the horrors
they have witnessed and endured.
How can we send our fresh-cheeked lads
into war? What cause is worth the cost?
How have we lived this long,
yet  still not learned
in war, all hope for peace
is lost?

Mankind is at war with
Mother Earth itself,
her creatures in distress,
extinction and starvation
the result: a global mess.

A wise Patriarch, watching his children
grow so wanton in their ways
must shake his head in sorrow
as we live our numbered days.


for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: War and Peace

I just read the memoir of Romeo Dallaire, (Waiting for First Light), who headed a UN peace keeping mission to Rwanda in 1994. The UN and the world ignored his warnings, and then his pleas for help, as he witnessed the genocide, returning home with PTSD which has tortured him ever since. He felt guilty and responsible for the many he could not save, though no one could have done more and he did save many thousands. The world barely registered that genocide. It blinked and moved on. In the book, Romeo reveals some of the sights he and other soldiers have witnessed that brings them home with haunted eyes, no longer the men they were before. Once one has seen, one cannot un-see.


20 comments:

  1. Amazing to find rhyme in this poem that otherwise tears me to shreds! Perhaps the marvel is that some of us still hope that PTSD can change us as well as torture us.

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  2. This is truly stirring and very very sad

    Thanks for dropping by to read mine Sherry

    Much love...

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  3. Somewhere, inside of me, I think the world (humanity) can't allow itself to see the reality. It calls for a terrifying change, and makes a lie out of what many believe is truth. We have still not learned the lesson,

    Elizabeth

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  4. A very poignant piece There is a lot of change needed to come out of the mess of this world

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  5. This is powerful Sherri. When will we learn? I have hope, but I think it won't manifest for a very long time.

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  6. This is so powerful. I thank you for splendidly keeping our eyes open and motivated. The better day is coming. But not without our help.

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  7. Advancing above the animals we have lost so much by acquiring the need for possessions, the greed for wealth and the disdain for those that are different from us but still human. Unless we change we may make ourselves obsolete on this Earth by our foolishness.

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  8. I feel no one should leave their own land with guns. Only then peace will reign and rain. Mankind is at war with itself and with everything so should be ready to meet the impending doom. Ugh.

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  9. we live such lengthy short lives, we mostly hairless apes. and sadly, the length of the shortness is killing the rest of the life we share on this earth. ~

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  10. War truly is futile - well said Sherry

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  11. Very sobering.Genocide hardly raising an eyebrow.We have to stay positive to continue fighting for justice.

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  12. A sonnet of sadness - the final couplet breaks my heart. Beautifully felt and written.

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  13. You skillfully weave the web of our excesses and poor decisions. I'm sure somewhere the Wise Patriarch sits on his cloud, shaking his head and saying "No, no, NO guys, that's not what I had in mind!"

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  14. A heartfelt and well-written piece, Sherry. And I, especially like these lines:
    How have we lived this long,
    yet still not learned
    in war, all hope for peace
    is lost?

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  15. A global mess is exactly what it is.. sigh.. heartfelt write.

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  16. The idea of not being able to un-see is every soldier's nightmare. Beautifully written, Sherry.

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  17. War sticks to the inside of the skull and heart like few others things do.

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  18. oh, so much bitter truth to this. the victims are countless. not only them, but their families. complete lives are left shattered in the wake of war. i agree.

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  19. Moving write ~ There are some things we never forget and forever changes us Sherry ~

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