"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Friday, April 7, 2017

Truth to Power

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
John McCrae

War or the Ride of Discord
Henri Rousseau (1894)


Lay weapons down, and join the peace.
Own this day, this flag and these streets
We are a chain, each link a hand:
A divided nation can stand
Together in communal grief.

Our fathers’ struggle does not cease,
When sons are given to caprice.
Their voices echo across the land:
Lay weapons down.

We cannot rewind the timepiece
Of history, but prevent repeat:
We have seen atrocity firsthand,
Oppression, freedom of speech banned
Thus we lay truth at power’s feet.
Lay weapons down.


This poem comes with Footnotes.

Today, I am breaking with my free verse themes to return to the classical form of Rondeau, which seems most apt for impassioned statement. Two noteworthy examples of the form are In Flanders Fields by John McCrae and We Wear the Mask, by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, both shown on this PAGE.

We seem to be living in a world converted to an arena of war, with missiles flying right and left, and many analysts believe we are headed irrevocably back to the 20th century phenomenon of World War.


Here in South Africa, the death of Apartheid struggle veteran, Ahmed Kathrada, has galvanised the nation to take a stand against a political move towards kleptocracy by our incumbent president, Jacob Zuma.
April 7, 2017 marks the advent of rolling mass action, rallying under the slogan #SAunites.
The scenes unfold on this News24 Feed.

With this poem, I lend my voice to the movement.
Kerry Says ~ Let's Paint a Picture


  1. Thus we lay truth at power’s feet.
    Lay weapons down

    Most difficult to achieve or to fulfill. All reserve their rights to their specific agendas. That itself kill all other initiatives!


    1. Too often the private agenda is personal enrichment.

  2. I applaud the sentiment and am too an advocate of peace...dificult times as there are many on this planet who are not.

  3. As news reports on any given day will bear witness.
    Thanks, Paul.

  4. A needed message, Kerry. The Age of Aquarius seems a thousand years ago--surely we are entering the Age of Aries. Sorry your country too knows these current troubles, as it has overcome so many others. Each day, a new fear.

    1. Very few countries can escape the political turmoil of the 21st century, it seems.. We are still living the legacy of the last century.

  5. I love "A divided nation can stand / Together in communal grief." Powerful, Kerry, and the form lends strength to the reading.

    1. I'm so upset to read of more bloodshed today.. the world, I think, suffers communal grief.

  6. We've spent so much time screaming at each other that the idea of peace seem inconceivable for some. But it's the only way to start--we must think something before we can make it true. I join my voice to yours.

    1. Greed is the enemy of peace - that's what I see around me.

  7. Great power in grief. It is the master and mother of peace. Never let spilled blood cool or be wiped away too soon. The greatest truth for me was in "We cannot rewind the timepiece / Of history, but prevent repeat." Joining hands here too.

    1. So much blood has been spilled.. we're stepped in it so far.

  8. A most poignant and powerfully penned Rondeau, Kerry ❤️

  9. Oh, YES. Yes, please.
    Perhaps if we spilled more beautiful words like these, less blood would be spilled.

  10. As you well know, I am with you, as are a multitude that I have seen. Let us never stop making other believers.

  11. Beautiful poem-I don't know that the principal of non-reciprocity can be spread- but thanks for the poem and images.

    I don't know if I can go on participating as traveling and intensely busy with some family matters. Thanks for getting me back in with toe at least, thanks much. k.

  12. A good conversation to which to lend voice. And yours is impassioned indeed, rightly so. May the collective voices for peace and sanity be heard!

  13. isn't it true we have but our voices? and here, strong and true ~

  14. I think all of us who can lend our voices should. "A divided nation can stand in communal grief" - I would hope would be wiser than to wait for a tragedy to come together, and yet that's all that seems to motivate some people.

  15. A strong, beautiful poem, whose words badly need heeding.

  16. We need your voice, this poem. War never solves anything, yet we find ourselves in conflict. May those of us who want peace speak louder than those who wish war.


Let's talk about it.