Thursday, 9 July 2015

Potential for Victory OR Tackle the Weeds, Save the Garden

[Update (March 4 2017) Our thoughts are with the friends and families of all those killed and injured in yesterday's terror attack on the St. Petersburg Metro. At the moment, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility although official Russian sources are saying it was, indeed, a terrorist attack. A second bomb at another Metro station was successfully defused. The world's War on Terror goes on, a war its perpetrators cannot and will not win if only because they underestimate the human spirit's capacity for overcoming even the darkest forces. How ironic, though, that terrorism should bring out the best in good people everywhere, uniting us in grief, peace, and love even as other wars rage and divide us.]

[Update ( July 15 2016): I am sure readers will join me in sending heartfelt sympathy along with thoughts of love and peace to all the families and friends of those killed and injured during the latest terrorist attack; this time in Nice, only yesterday. May the eternal optimism and resilience of the French people help them through such terrible times. Indeed, it would seem that decent people worldwide must find a way to rise above the constant threat of terrorism if only so these psychopaths cannot claim victory over the better, stronger, kinder and more stoical elements of the human spirit that will endure long after all terrorists are less than dust in the wind, no matter how many lives they may have taken or whatever trail of destruction they leave behind; any suggestion that the name of any terrorist is in the least bit worth remembering is an insult to the memory of his or her victims.]

We can but hope common sense will prevail over politics and a two-way dialogue will (eventually) allow diplomacy to triumph sooner rather than later over the sub-machine gun, the missile, the roadside bomb, the suicide bomber, the likes of an attack by mindless fanatics on innocent commuters, a defenceless young soldier in broad daylight on a London street, worshippers in a place of prayer, tourists sunning themselves on a beach…

And so it goes on across the world...

The trouble is some people - especially the more vulnerable among us - are easily persuaded that weed flowers are worth saving, even nurturing. The good gardener, of course, knows better.

I guess all we ordinary men and women on any street anywhere in the world can do is just get on with our everyday lives, do our best to create ripples of peace, love, and respect for each other’s socio-cultural-religious differences instead of open hostility. Hopefully, these may spread far and wide enough to do at least some good. Wishful thinking…? Well, maybe, but worth a try surely?

This poem is a villanelle.


Where terrorism strikes fear,
encouraging the world’s divisions,
sense its victory, oh, so near

Inhumanity painfully clear
(election fodder for our politicians)
where terrorism strikes fear

Though survival cost us dear
following conscience-led decisions,
sense its victory, oh, so near

Dare humanity turn a deaf ear
to the in-fighting among its religions
where terrorism strikes fear?

Once mutual respect finds cheer
in spirituality’s common aspirations,
sense its victory, oh, so near

May peace songs persevere
with infiltrating all enemy positions;
where terrorism strikes fear,
sense its victory, oh, so near

Copyright R. N. Taber 2010; 2015

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