Si Vis Pacem…

Si Vis Pacem...

I eased down on the rock and listened first to the blood spilled on the soil of the south, to the cries of the orphaned, the laments of the rejected and to the heart-wrenching moans of the far-gone shadows of once-vibrant lads and lasses.

I opened my eyes then and saw a head rolling on the ground like it hadn’t been attached to a body seconds ago. I beheld families torn apart by the depraved cruelty of men who had forgone brotherhood.

I stared into the sunken eyes of a child who had no more tears to shed, hands outstretched but eyes so…empty and unexpectant. My eyes were glued to the flatscreen and empty eyes in the ashen faces of washed-up corpses of refugees stared back at me.

I watched as father, mother and child floated after grueling battles with death; as want, pain and anguish tore at their very souls; as brothers turned on brothers; as values, once cherished, turned to ash; as unity and dignity came to mean nothing.

But my lips couldn’t find the wherewithal to blame them, for I, the world, saw and turned away. I heard their cries and thought myself too far away to help. I heard them cry out in soul-penetrating agony, pleading to my humanity and I plugged on my headset and turned up the volume on the Lumineers.

I knew it could easily have been the family I go home to everyday that gasps for air, that writhes in pangs of hunger. It could be me wrapped in those white sheets and left to nature. But the battle raged far from home and I was lulled into a silence that brought no peace.

Perhaps there really was very little I could have done for the warriors in those distant battlegrounds, but these days, I find that the fighting was also here, with me, hidden in decay and tradition. Unfairness and injustice engraved scars on the sons and daughters of my home.

Some days still find me mum with indifference. Other days meet me in violent clashes with the marauders. I find that in victory and in defeat, peace trails me home. 

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