My Life and My Views about the world

Sharing my world with you :: Happenings around me !

Poem about the Futility of war

Posted by sadeepa palliyaguru on August 31, 2007

As the citizens of a war torn country we have no option rather than living with the war. The trauma , pain and suffering of war has become a part of our life. We are becoming less sensitive to war. I feel that most sri lankans are not moved by the daily killings taking place in the country. It’s ironical that the Sinhalese people massacred tamils for the killing of 17 (?) soldiers… Today 10 , 15 would be the average daily death toll. What about the LTTE ? Arnt they our brothers , fellow Sri Lankans dying …

I found this interesting poem about the the war titled “poem from an American war veterans wife : Words Not Spoken, Truths Untold” by Claudia Whitehead McCoy. This poem could be a foreign one , but the experience is universal to each country which is having a conflict.

Words Not Spoken, Truths Untold


My Grandfather never spoke

Of the Great War.

Instead he told of dancing

With French peasant girls.

Sometimes I wanted to dance

With my Grandfather,

But he had left his legs

In a foxhole in Belgium.



My Father never spoke

Of World War II.

Instead he told of

Telling stories around a campfire

On Guadalcanal.

Sometimes late at night

A dozen years later,

He would scream and writhe in pain

With the Malaria

He couldn’t leave in the Pacific.



My cousin never spoke

Of the Korean Conflict.

Instead he told

Us how much our letters meant

In that cold forgotten place.

Sometimes I would like to write

To him again, but

The telegram forgot to mention

The zip code for someone killed in action.



My husband never speaks Of Vietnam,

Instead he tells me

How beautiful the flowers were.

Sometimes in July

When fireworks crack and sparkle

He cowers in a closet,

Holding his head

And calling out,”Incoming! Incoming!”



Do I speak to my children

Of wars gone and those yet to be?

I can’t begin to know

The horror or the exhilaration.

I’ve never been there.

But sometimes I tell them

Of Peace and the price

That some have paid

For this illusive gift.



And if I never spoke

Of war?

How would they understand

About honor, courage and patriotism?

But sometimes I have to tell them

About greed, power and carelessness.

Because war isn’t always what it’s said to be,

And God isn’t always on our side.



Claudia Whitehead McCoy


THanks goes to Gehan for sharing this poem with us!


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