Sunday, 12 November 2017

We never learn

I walked in this park
T'was a cemetery
And I was alone

But for the others
Who lay there so peacefully
That is what I thought

So then I sat down
My mind wandered, drifted off
In contemplation

I heard someone say
Just why are you here young man?
I struggled from sleep

Before I answered
Others began to cry out
Yes, I heard them all

Talk about bedlam
For each grave had opened up
They clamored to speak

Then the questions came
What measure of man are you
To kill your own kind?

One by one they spoke
But their skins were not as mine”
So the pit for you

What is your excuse?
“They prayed to other gods”
Fool, I still heard them

So then the next
“They spoke a foreign language”
To hell you must go

And there were more
“Our leaders told us we must”
And did you not cheer?

“I was a soldier
It was my duty to fight”
“But you killed children”

On and on they spoke
And for each was an answer
I had to protest

“Stop” I then called out
These men have all been punished
Their families too

“Silly little man
I was not speaking to them
No, I spoke to you”

Image from

This poem (a haiku stream) was published elsewhere back in 2014. The times seems right to resurrect it!


  1. Sad but I like this identification.

  2. Robin, you said it.. we all carry the responsibility for allowing war to disgrace us and befoul the peace of our world. Well said.

  3. Sadly you are right - we will never learn.

  4. Heartwrenching and oh so powerful ... Thank you for this ...

  5. Very poignant Old Egg, Thanks for sharing it today.

  6. The ending nearly broke my heart, Robin. Mostly, because so many people forget. They say they remember, but like your speakers suggest, they rarely remember the right thing.

  7. And it is still going on, the killing.........the horror and inhumanity. A powerful poem, Robin.

  8. I am so glad you shared this again...what a magnificent piece as each haiku is a lesson....a heartbreaking lesson we still cannot learn and you gave it such a powerful ending. Thank you!

  9. You've portrayed well the senselessness of war.

  10. I cannot understand the war... and we can all be victims and we may be the perpetrators. I hope that I would have the courage to be shot at dawn for not obeying.

  11. Wow, Robin. This poem really gave me chills.So many deaths in war....and often we forget that even if people have different colored skins they have the same feelings and have families as well. I like Bjorn's comment.

  12. And war keeps being touted as the answer to bring peace. Your piece strikes with stark reality. The first weapons of war are our words.

  13. This is a perceptive, wonderfully articulated piece that begs the question: where does the responsibility for war lie - ultimately ... with the soldier or the government ordering him into battle. Brilliant work on this, Robin.

  14. It seems so insane and so simple at the same time. It's so wrong.

  15. Profound. Has to be read more thaN once