Preface: I would like to add some explanation about my motivation for this post. Over a month ago a site that I was following, a beautifully designed, highly artistic and expressive site written mainly in Arabic (so, untranslatable to me; I have not been able to find a Translate button for that site), posted a photograph that absolutely appalled me. It showed (again, without my being able to translate, so these are only my visual perceptions) a line of prisoners standing in a row with their backs to the camera, wearing prisoner coverings and with hoods over their heads. Enough said. I cancelled my following of that site. LKW
On being asked for a War Poem
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS (1919)
I think it better that in times like these
A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter’s night.
The more I think about it, the more I favor supporting peaceful warriors in these times of too much violence. Committing violence in itself, let’s be clear, does not make of anyone a true Warrior; violence manifests but its own Shadows, low consciousness, dark energy. A true Warrior stands up for or defends that which is positive and LIFE AFFIRMING. How can anyone believe that murder, in any form, can ever be either godly or good?
I would urge anyone prone to expressing or who is attracted to violent, Shadow-warrior tendencies to expand instead their own greater, more positive, light-bearing traits. Life does matter; all lives tend toward transcendence, growth and awareness, or can. Integrating your Self-identity by developing your connections, both outwardly—with people of varied backgrounds—and inwardly, blending your your own multiple perspectives from the various roles in your life, can help to soften and expand your point of view regarding the meaning and value of life.
What is your purpose here? Then, what is the next person’s purpose? Everyone deserves to pursue their purposes without interference from anyone else.
Live and let live. Love and let Be.
I apologize if this sounds like I am on a “jag” here. The world is just so full of senseless violence these days. A Warrior stands up for the value of life; a TRUE Warrior does not destroy life as an exercise of brute power or domination. Love is what we all ARE–so long as we retain our purity of nature–in our deepest essence. Love is never a matter of mere belief but requires acceptance, allowing, and compassion.
So, Yeats’s poetic call to pacifism being noted, I do believe the pen—by forging words and images—can be mightier than any sword. Let’s stand up as Writer Warriors. Who would like to join me?
What can we do as writers or artists to deter the tide of violence appearing in the news or other media and to protest or prevent the maelstorm of brutal, atrocious violations assaulting the dignity of life in our world today?
I invite YOUR reply.