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Poetry for Peace Contest

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.


The wind will never remember,
That upon its ample shoulders it once bore ,
Men in battle as swift as kites swooping ,
Upon little broods in sweet ignorance foraging ;
And in the wake of their devastating flight trailed :
Of distress and heads in anguish bowed.

The river will never remember,
Not the gentle footsteps of frolicking infants,
Not the blood of doting fathers that fell blameless,
When madness this way once rode by  unkind horses.
Downstream has such memory with the water flowed away :
And of such the lips of the bank shall remain,

The earth will never remember,
Dwellings once proud and assuring,
Till by violent fists and fire their walls torn,
And in the wake of war all that is left only but sad
Runes, written in pain upon scorched streets :
And as skeletons of abandoned scarecrows remaining,

Those deaf walls will never remember,
Tired platitudes in mere duty and antinomy uttered ,
By men in dishonest resolution gathered,
Together in public galleries to speak of peace,
But in a moment again in chicanery departing to plot:
Even before the booming guns in the fields fall

The wind will never remember,
Even when again it is in hatred harnessed -
And upon peaceful groves and gardens hurled,
While treasured vases are in disarray shaken;
And flung upon the floor where they lay:
But the shards, scattered and distressed do not remain,

The shards, the shards will ever remember,
And ceaselessly the shards they shall cry for peace;
The shards though scattered and distressed,
Will not remain,

— Rotimi Ogunjobi


All Poems Submitted to the Contest


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