The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday 18 June 2024

War Is Not Healthy (Song For an Unknown Foe)

When I was a teenager and young man the Vietnam War was raging and coming to its final end. I participated in many anti-war marches and rallies. One of the most prominent posters of the time read: “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”

The etching upon which this poster was based was created by Los Angeles printmaker Lorraine Art Schneider in 1965. She donated the etching to a women’s anti-war group called Another Mother For Peace. The poster and sentiment rapidly permeated the large anti-war movement around the world.

The sentiment in this etching has remained with me ever since. Over the years I have discovered just how many ‘living things’ are encompassed by the words.

Amongst those ‘other living things’ are the soldiers themselves. Many came back from wars traumatised men. Many still do from the wars around the world today. Today we know this as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) During World War 1 it was known simply as shell-shock. Shell-shock could strike down men on all sides.

I tried to capture this trauma, pain, and sorrow in a poem titled Song For An Unknown Foe. It is written from the perspective of a German sniper in World War 1.

Today I shot a man I did not know
Though I shot him through the head
Straight through my heart that bullet sped
Leaving me in pain and deep sorrow.

Lying in that god forsaken muddy field
Thousands call it, name it, no-mans-land
Yet, in this confused and cratered land
Lies many a man, his guts and bones revealed.
And now another son I’ve taken from this earth
For ‘twas my ’pon that vile trigger
Stole from him his vitality, vim, and vigour
In this wretched war of little worth.
Now I hear the Generals propound
‘He did his duty, he did it well’
Yet no pride have I, no chest to swell
No honour in that duty have I found.
When I awake with each breaking dawn
Consider that foe whose name I know not
All those others with each practiced shot
            I’ll picture him lying in a soldier’s lawn.’

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