Never speak his name!

‘Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the one who took them.’ Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister.

As New Zealanders, we are all wrestling with the horror of last Friday’s terrorist attack but if anything can give us hope for the future, it is the way our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has led the country’s response, with compassion and firmness. I have never been more proud of this fine young woman than when she stated, ‘I will never utter his name.’

Peace Sign with words Peace, Love, Faith, Joy, Hope, Kindness, Unity Poster

 

I wrote this poem this morning after an unsettled night haunted by the knowledge that a line has been crossed in our country and there is no going back.

I don’t understand

I don’t understand
how a man can look at another
and see a lesser man
when he breathes the same air
loves, laughs and weeps
bleeds red.

I don’t understand
how a man can look at another
and see a life of no value
that is his for the taking,
that no loss would be felt.

I don’t understand
how a man can look at himself
and not see those who’s blood runs in his veins
the English, Maori or Chinese
the Christian, Sikh or Muslim.

I don’t understand.

14 comments

  1. That’s a really fine post Wendy, and a fantastic poem. Its terribly sad that few in leadership in this country seem to have taken hate speech, racism, threats, and gun legislation very seriously in the past. I was shocked to read in the Herald re the 1997 Thorp Report with 60 recommendations of which only 1 was acted on in 1999. Why does it take massive loss of life before there’s the political will to take action of ANY sort? The system will get an overhaul now and that has to be a good thing but I wish our leaders had shown more foresight, wisdom and gumption way earlier and perhaps averted this tragedy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ps. would you allow me to include from “I wrote” to the end, in a post? I’ve got a photo taken today that I can head my post with, and I’d credit and link back as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course Liz, feel free.
      I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.And I fear that if we don’t act quickly, the political will to make change will wane.
      I hope we all learn and become better citizens as a result of this dreadful event. It was allowed to happen because of our apathy and indifference towards racist comments and hate speech. I hope we all have the courage to stand up in future and say, ‘No, that is not acceptable.’
      Thank you for your kind words, Liz.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Eloquent words, Wendy. I admire them. And I very, very much admire Jacinda Ardern. Sanity. Reason. Dignity. Strength. We must firmly and unambiguously negate evil without falling into the trap of resorting to evil ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well said. Poignant and beautifully done. A fitting tribute that probably deserves a much wider audience…have you thought of submitting it to a national newspaper?

    For my part, I only wish the governments of this world would have the courage to take tough decisions on things like gun laws without there having first been a tragedy…it’s like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Aren’t we all told that prevention is better than cure?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Graham.
      You’re right, it seems only when there’s been a tragedy that they have the courage because the opposition doesn’t dare play politics and argue for the sake of it.
      I’ll consider the paper idea. 🙂

      Like

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