Peace Be Upon You

Image by analogicus from Pixabay

Publication Date: July, 2021

Location: PoetCrit out of New Delhi, available here.

Genesis: Every now and again, I come across a study that finds just how safe a world we live in. Yes, I know this flies in the face of the fear-inducing media world in which we now live, but the data supports the fact that, globally, our chances of living out a long life, free from the threat of being killed in wars or other forms of attack, have rarely been better.

I just wanted to celebrate this…

The prevailing paradigm
Says that military spending
Is too low.
The dominant discourse
Tells us NATO subscriptions
Are too slow.
All the terrorist threats
And the nuclear side-bets
We’re encouraged to fret – 
Is our defensive safety net
Good to go?

And yet. And yet…

All around the world,
In 2002,
Fifty seven million people
Breathed their last
And expired.
Permanently retired
Through accident, old age
Disease and bad luck.
Fifty seven million people
Of whom 172,000 – 
A little more than point three of one percent – 
Died as a result of war.

In the same year, in 2002,
The world spent over a trillion dollars
On arms and defence.
On arms and defence.
On the tragic pretence
That this makes the world
A safer place.

Yet peace is already upon us.

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