The Eternal Peace Activist

This is a guest post by Kevin Higgins

The Eternal Peace Activist

after Donovan and Pete Seeger

When the child soldiers came to our village,
I offered them green, red, yellow

I didn’t throw grenades at black limousines
carrying Nazi leaders
through Czechoslovakia.

I spent the morning
of the St. Bartholomew’s Day
massacre, trying to organise
a group hug.

During the Sack of Constantinople
I was busy writing
a strongly worded statement
against the blood that ran
in the gutters like rain.

Each night I pray
they’ll leave it to the United Nations,
Arab League, Warsaw Pact to sort
out amongst themselves.

I asked Genghis Khan
where all the flowers had gone?;
told Chemical Ali about the universal
soldier who, unlike me, really is to blame.

When you showed me room after room
of your relatives’ carefully stacked skulls,
I said: the internal affairs
of Democratic Kampuchea
are not my business.

Even if one of those heads
was mine, I’d not lift
a fingernail to keep it attached
to its owner, think the peace talks in Paris
must be given another chance.

When a four foot boy clad in black
bomber jacket shoved a lit kerosene rag,
through my neighbour’s letterbox,
I didn’t take the easy way out
and familiarize his cranium
with the pavement.

Now, he’s six foot eight
and has a gang who go around with him.


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