The Poetry for Peace contest was held from 15 September until 14 October 2011. The winners were anounced at a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York.
Below is one of the contest entries.
NEVER AGAIN Every step I took, Everything in sight, Everything I heard, made these things ring in my head repeatedly. Never again, Never again should humanity stoop so low, so low innocent blood flow. Never again must a person look into the eyes of fellow men and say, a permanent long sleeve will look good on you, a permanent short sleeve will look good on you. Never again must ammunition instead of rain fall from the sky Never again must the earth swallow so many human lives Never again must humanity confirm the sex of an unborn child, by splitting the womb of a pregnant woman Never again must innocent brains be darkened so much that, Remorse, Forgiveness, Pity, and mercy could not be imprinted on them. Never again must new trees and seedlings fall, for an old one to thrive where it is not needed. Never again must royals turn into strangers in another land, because their land has become inhabitable Never again must it become difficult for humanity to feed, all because the land that brought forth food, Now brings forth explosives that, cuts short legs even cuts short life Never again, must parents become childless, children become orphans, friends and siblings become lonely, humanity wail, all because "who" is important to them has been taken away. Never again must humanity be set backward so many years, all because of greed, ambition, excuse my language, stupidity. Ever should: Humanity live like royals in their home, Humanity progress and not retrogress, Humanity live happily, freely and in harmony. Ever again should smiles beam all over the face of humanity. Never again should humanity face, War, Conflict, and unrest. Ever again! Ever again! Ever again must humanity, experience love, experience trust, Most importantly, experience PEACE! THE VOICE I close my eyes Then I open my ears wide I hear voices They rise as they draw closer and closer They get louder and louder as the stereo continuously increasing in volume Unlike like a mirage It tends to be very real And the echo is amazingly electrifying It spreads like a unique whirlwind From the mid to the oust From the oust to the mid From the front to the back From the back to the front The voices are deafening but sweet depending on where you stand Its deafening is you stand in front of it. (Covers ears) And sweet if you stand behind it (opens ears widely) If you listen from a distance, then maybe deafening but sweet Or sweet but deafening The echoes of the voices scream out only one thing Give us what we want! Give us our rights! Most importantly, give us our freedom! For we want to wake up with a tongue that can roll freely We want to step places without thinking if we stepped rightly Without thinking if we had stepped on a wrong toe For we want see opportunity in our future We want to have the belief that we can aspire to anything that is ethically and morally possible We want to believe that we can wake up and say to ourselves, 'We live in a world where all things are very possible' And we can but Only dream Stretch out our hands And reach for it (smiles) It is a dream some have proudly made a reality Some in the process of making real Some hope to make real And all believe will be real someday So all can live in a world of possibilities Blossom like the flowers in spring And grow to live a healthy fulfilling life. For just as the Freedom Ship set sail decades ago, So has the Voice Plane started to fly! And never looked back Leaving behind a fiery trail of Freedom A nice rosy scent of Freedom That burns and hopes to last forever (Pauses and wonders for a while) Will this voice(s) get out of hand? Will it ever be tamed? Let us wait and see how things eventually turn out Fingers crossed, We hope positive (smiles) It will forever be dubbed, "THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE" And you know what the old saying goes "THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE IS THE VOICE OF GOD" And the question beckons, Is it really, the case? (Smiles) Is it really? Good luck to all THE VOICES OF FREEDOM IN THE WORLD (CHAPEAU) YOU HUMAN, AM HUMAN Imagine you find a baby an abandoned and crying baby You then decide to take the child in and care for the child What will the child be like when he/she grows up? Imagine the child is of a different RACE ETHNICITY SOCIAL STANDING Imagine the psychology of the child How will the child behave when he/she grows up? The answer is You behave how you are raised You think how you are raised You even eat, walk, and talk how you are raised For in the end, You are human I am human We are human You don't get to decide where, how, when and even to whom you are born God only creates us to look and sound different God gave us a different colour BLACK IN-BETWEEN WHITE Because it will be BORING to see the same colour all the time In the end, We all live We all eat We all sleep And even if I may be excused 'We all go to pay our respect to the old lady' We all experience happiness and sorrow We all bleed red We all eventually die So once again And in good faith You are human I am human We are human. So we should learn to live together as ONE.
— George Amoah
All Poems Submitted to the Contest