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Humanity And War

A little baby boy — unnamed, Humanity himself —

with the tears of yesterday’s hunger etched onto his cheeks.

Born with war for a resentful brother, they each vie for the world’s attention.

They lie imprisoned in a gaol of rifles,

each the other’s jailer.

And now, the boy – listen!

He knocks at our door, with the only weapon he has –

His best offence, his sole defense: His voice –

hurled at us in pitiful cries, an innocent plea for help.

But innocence is a mere fly caught in the spider web of cynicism coiling around our world.

Innocence is the short call of truth drowning in a sea of lies.


For truth is not a story; lies, however, are elaborate fairy-tales and we have always been suckers for fairy-

tales – The most romantic tale of genocide, the most compelling story of sin, the best narrative becomes


our truth but real pain is not as pretty.

Brother war, however needs no introduction.

Needs no quiet attention to be heard.

He is the noisiest of telegrams, the most furious of patriots, the loudest of explosions.

He is the clamor of pain, of blind violence, of intolerance, of resentment.

One so quiet in his sorrows, the other so loud.

Yet both, children of the same roots:

The roots of hierarchy reaching deep into centuries of silence.

The silence of those crushed under the weight of society’s burden,

The silence of those inflicting blind pain.

The silence of suffering.

The silence of both pestle and mortar,

Humanity and war, the unfortunate products.


-Ila Manish

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