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.
Peace and War It's Volkstrauertag Death through war, Gewaltherrschaft, Go through your mind. It's 2009, Peace at last? The victims of wars, Memorials with mourning choirs, Weeping war widows, orphans, Wreaths and flowers for the dead. The fire brigade stands at attention. Uniforms, Stiff humans With eyes moving, To take in the mourning. In Freiburg-Kappel we sing A Russian song, To remember The sons and husbands of Freiburg-Kappel Who didn't return. Ninety years ago, The Constitution of Weimar. Germany's Fundamental Laws, Proclaimed sixty years ago. The ugly Berlin wall Fell twenty years ago. The Second World War, Began seventy years ago. Alas, young Teutonic widows Still cry today In Germany, For young husbands Who died And still die, In the killing fields Of the Hindukush, There's a war In far off Afghanistan. The grandfather died For a totalitarian regime. The grandson dies today For a democratic idea. We Germans train the police In the Hindukush. What happens when they run Over to the Talibans? Islam binds the people In the Hindukush. What have we to offer? Is war capitulation, Against the forces of evil? People who are beaten, tortured When their ethnicity And genes differ, When people with illness or disability, Are meted injustice, Stamped as 'unworthy of life.' There are those who faced A firing squad, When they defied The rule of power, Clutched to their beliefs, Their pure conscience. You can't change the past. What has happened, Has happened. Don't close your eyes To the hoary past, Lest you be blind To the present, And the future. It's not the Third World, Where ideologies, Fundamentalists, Terror Find their breeding grounds. Rightist ideology Is still mushrooming, In the streets of Berlin, Vienna and Bern. The 'others' are still Being terrorized, Beaten, stabbed and kicked In broad daylight. Freedom and forgiveness, Within and without, Where art thou? He who searches Finds hope, Tolerance, Empathy And dignity, For there are enough Righteous, honest, Spiritual people with integrity Who care about others.
— Satis Shroff
All Poems Submitted to the Contest