GUEST BLOG: Gerard Otto – When everything is wrong no words seem right


When everything is wrong no words seem right.

Silence is the only appropriate place for dignity’s sake

And it’s best to let things be

Sympathy is not opinion

While angry men and women fight over what to do

And everyone is different

Some must have been cold for a long time

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To feel nothing

Far away in some tribal cell where all is well

Where they gathered their views and grew to hate

For the sake of some other time

Festering with fear and ignorance

The cold teaching that sits inside us

With no glass of history

In the hands of informers

Could we be dumb and disgusting creatures

While sons and fathers lay dead

Mothers held their dead children to their screaming hearts

Suddenly this was happening in our place

And there are NO WORDS for this

While every day humans make war

Somewhere far away

We all tried to state our case

And hide the record

from years of this vile snake

Divorced from the overwhelmed

It’s easy to be a fool

Blaming each other

While wells of sorrow run deeper

Than anything that happened

Gone forever


A nation stops for a while

before it moves on

In a land deeply carved with deep fissures

Bone and rock

Shell and core

Weathered faces pin their labels on people they never knew

While some contemplate their own incomplete state

How we came to be so sure

When wisdom sits in silence

A place alone together

Like you and me barely knowing each other

Daring to change the darkness

Where the poet refuses to participate

Don’t dream it’s over

Can we put aside these childish things

And grow up and get along

Like the world we hoped for

When we were children

Before the fear

Before every word seemed wrong


Gerard Otto is an activist and a writer.


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