A poetic reply to an Expositor editorial

“Insanity in man is rare, but in groups, epochs, political parties, it is quite common”

To the Expositor:

Re. ‘Snap election based on fear would be a travesty,’ March 11, Page 4.

The philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, said: “Insanity in man is rare, but in groups, epochs, political parties, it is quite common.”

Love Thy Enemies

(Where would we be without them?)


It starts with our kinfolk

And spreads to our neighbours.

Let’s face it, my brother,

We don’t like each other,

Deep down.

Don’t frown.


Twittering, tweeting, Babel-speaking,

Aware of an enemy who’s always near.

Reinforcing our prejudices,

The strangers we fear.

But the devil’s imbedded in our own DNA

Never very far away, here to stay.


We transfer our hate to the Gods we create:

The ones who avenge and kill for revenge,

To settle old scores, that won’t go away;

A convenient Redeemer who dies for man’s sins

So man can sin for another day.


At times one thinks we’ve gone too far,

Making a Prince of Peace into a man of war.

I’ve often dreamed of slugging someone,

But know I’d soon face a court of law.

Slugging is frowned on, one-on-one,

But on a grand scale, it can be done.


The past, Old Hat, forgotten, history,

For some of us, it is no mystery:

That from old hates arise new wars.

How old alliances become new dalliances,

All, while you’re squatting on your arse,

While leaders run roughshod over the masses

With armies made up from the underclasses.


Armies, where killers may call themselves heroes.

Where would they be if they didn’t have foes?

Ours, once the respected world’s peace keepers

Defending the globe from others grim reapers,

Now out there, blood for oil to spill.

Who was it, said: “Thou shalt not kill?”

While all around the globe is burning,

Oil fanning the flames of hate,

The sun’s getting hotter, but earth is still turning.

For many, peace comes too late.


Helga Reilly