Same Story, Different Time.

This poem was written during the Kosovo War in reponse to BBC radio reports. It attempts to acknowledge the shadow side of humanity yet still find room for hope.

The same sunk faces amassed on the borders, in the reserves, the refugee camps, the transit camps.
The same loss etched in expression across Tibet, Rwanda, Kosovo.
The same resonant legacy in the anguish of Auschwitz, Jericho, all along the Red Road.

The same ancient record played out, stuck in cyclical revenge.
The same trust blinded by betrayal.
The same forgotten humanity,
The same dammed inhumanity.
The same distorted belief that 'all delusion is in the minds of others!'
The same rant restated:

To rob a people of their power cut their hair,
To rob a people of their pride burn their homes,
To rob a people of everything, take their land. 

In a different guise at a different time we have all stood in the stench of smoke and shit and death.
Their loss is our loss, their present our past.

To heal is to look inward, as landless-ness was in man long before man was landless.
To remember standing, sometimes in bare vulnerability, sometimes in spitting indignation. 
To feel the grief, begin crying, and never stop.
To sob and scream into the soil, until our heart recalls the common call.

The call of humility.
A humility that rises up and and says enough! NO MORE!
Humility with boundless capacity to rebuild,  re-grow and in time, reconcile.

We will come to know peace.
When the bomber looks into the eyes of the burnt and says "my brother," 
And the answer is "yes my friend."

Humanity has a habit of cyclical patterns of genocide, scapegoating and revenge. There is a tendency to see the shadow side of our nature in others, thus avoiding coming to terms with it in ourselves. In psychoanalysis this is a type of disassociation or a projection. 

Simon Weston (The bomber and the burnt: Falklands veteran with Argentinian veteran)
POEM: Marc Perry, Overdene, Northumberland.


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