Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The War of Kindness . . .

Well, I said I might write a poem one of these days. So for whatever it is worth... a simple thought from a simple mind.
...The War of Kindness

Just once…
Just once in my life before I die
I would like to get up one morning
And not have to read
About another awful war somewhere
About another country burning
As humans pillage and plunder and rape
As they have been doing for millennia now
As humans blow each other into little bits
With pistols and rifles and bullets and bombs
As humans demonstrate yet again just how great
Is their infinite capacity for hate
Just once…
Yes, just once in my lifetime
I would love to see
A headline in the morning newspaper
Hear the newspaper vendor exclaiming
"Extra, extra, read all about it,
A war of kindness has been declared" !
And then to find when reading the story
To find that a powerful country
Had decided one day
Upon careful deliberation
After seeing another country in misery
To overwhelm the suffering land
With an outpouring of love and kindness and harmony
To learn that they had mobilized
Their every available resource
To mount a vast and caring logistical operation

Thus by surprise one fine morning
An army of cleaning ladies
Crossed over the border
Bearing brooms and brushes and feather dusters
Followed by an armada of trucks
Carrying cleaning supplies, soaps, detergents
They cleaned every kitchen every bathroom every toilet
They did all the laundry and hung it out to dry
The ironing was all done and neatly folded
They washed every window pane
A second wave of brigades all pushing vacuum cleaners
Followed by more with furniture polish galore and rags
And they set about cleaning every house in the land
At noon battalions of handymen
Were sent in as the dust was already flying
Each had toolkits and loads of supplies
They fixed every leaking faucet
Every squeaking door hinge was oiled
Every machine every axel was greased
They had brushes and paint
This army of saints
They cleaned out gutters
They swept the streets
They pruned the trees

In the afternoon
Hospital ships appeared along the coasts
Mobile field hospitals in vast tents
Were set up across the land
Whole armies of doctors and nurses
Were sent in, but not to clean up
The usual disasters of traumatic amputations
And mangled bleeding bodies of our usual wars
But to heal cataracts and dispense cancer treatments
To comfort and cure and care for the downtrodden
By the end of day one
The war had been won
But it was not over by far
It was just getting started
The generals and admirals
Had all been lovingly plotting
The machine of kindness
Had been set in motion
There was no telling
Where it might be stopping
Baskets of fruit were sent to every home
Boxes of chocolates to every address
The billions of dollars usually spent
During wars for things that go "bang" and "boom"
Were quietly transferred in careful equality
To every bank account in the target country
No strings attached to this giant infusion
Fresh flowers were sent by the truckload

Farmers came with tractors and ploughed the fields
Whole trainloads of fine foods and wines
Were sent until every table in the land overflowed
Cooks and singers and dancers and poets
Were all sent on missions to do their best
To spread happiness and good cheer
Far and wide
As they waged this war of kindness
Just once…
Just once in my life
Is that too much to hope for ?
Copyright 2012


Mrs. Loftis said...

Wow, you have a lot to say in this one crusade, one expression of the mind, all big and bright and hopeful. I look at the little twinkling star above and ask if more could only see through your scope. Oh I hope, because it is beautiful.

Pastelle said...

Ca fait rêver...
Mais si nous la faisions tous à notre petit niveau, cette guerre là ?

Steve said...

A wonderful dream... something it would do us all good to aspire to.

Lydia said...

Oh, dear Owen, it is probably way too much to hope for. But the scenario you created here lifted my spirits and made me smile. (Besides that, Service would be impressed!)

Bless you for being a visionary.

The Pliers said...


I'm glad to read that you got your heartfelt poem up and out into the ether. Bravo!

Reminds me of my favorite ABSOLUT ad:

English Rider said...

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" Momentum begins with the smallest of movements:)

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

What a valiant dream. I would have to say that this is how the people felt the world responded after February 22 2011. However, we were comfortably at peace till then. The truly embattled don't get treated like this do they?

Alistair said...

Great sentiment Owen.

If we can't do something for others how can we expect others to do anything for us.

Amanda said...

Wouldn't it be nice? If only once...

jeff said...

Tu sais Owen... à nous de devenir les journaux du matin et annoncer de belles nouvelles... :-)

Belle journée ;-)

Lynne with an e said...

Cleanliness is next to godliness?

PeterParis said...

Someone already said "Once I had a dream"....

Arija said...

You have me in tears yet again Owen.