Poem by Dr. Stella L. Luna
War of the Worlds
Why do we take up arms?
Why do we fight the enemy?
Seen or unseen is it a necessity?
Is it liberation, a defense from invasion?
Is it proxy wars, civil wars, religious war?
Is it insurrection?
Terrorism, false attacks, conflagrations
There are cyber wars and Cold Wars
The more imminent
“The Signs of the Times”
When nations rise up against nations
The sign of a detached humanity.
Bleeding from man’s atrocities.
Our soldiers die young fighting,
Caught in various conflicts
Kids and wives crying, men missing,
Countless cries , freedom denying.
Where is the justice in this slaughtering?
Everyone fights, in their own way
They become soldiers.
We all have personal wars,
With ourselves, with our minds,
Everyday men has fought their own battles.
We are all the same, not immune to pain.
Kings, queens, chieftains, generals
Presidents, dictators, the elites, the Cabal,
They start wars and suffer their own wars.
Priests ,men in red hoods,
Some are pedophiles into sex crimes,
their victims fighting their own battles in silence
Blood thirsty extremist jihadists
Distorting their fundamentalism.
Many just die with people unknowing
Of the silent voices in the night weeping
Soldiers, kids, wives, becoming just statistic
Gun toting cops, military, vigilante
They all are the same, killing in the name,
Of freedom, peace and security
Playing the game.
Desperate wives seeking justice,
Looking for answers, turned into widows.
Hopeless children turned into orphans
Waiting for papa to come home,
They are “los desparecidos.”.
Forced disappearances, shot in broad daylight ,
Men taken forcibly in the middle of the night,
Gagged, tortured, silenced, massacred
This drug war left them bullet ridden
Or bound in tape with the name “tulak” written.
The term “ tokhang” becoming a household name
People getting used to “riding in tandem”
What is 5,000 and 12,000 deaths,
Tell us CHR — is that the same?
Journalists, writers, farmers,
Students, teachers, protesters, union workers.
Tagged as subversives, left wing communists.
All killed, in an attempt to gag
The social and political injustice.
They are called dissidents, termed as threat
Menace doomed to be silenced.
Are you like me, uncertain when to die?
War is never out of any season,
but it never has lack of reason,
We attack each other with guns and knives,
Soldiers leave behind heartbroken kids & wives,
We attack each other with words, unseen swords
In pain and suffering many still scared for their life,
War tests us all, even the strongest flutter,
Our ego grins as we destroy each other
War is a fire that will consume humanity
If we let the monster out of our sanity
we all want to survive this philosophy,
war consumes us,
war dictates to us,
war will test us,
but inevitably war will end every one of us,
War is a plague that will infect every one equally.
War is never the answer or the solution
It is the dreadful truth that we should face
Waking up to a grim conclusion.
I am not just a number or statistic
I have a name, I have a basic human right
To live in dignity, not in impunity.
“And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars,
See that you be not troubled,
For all these things must come to pass
But the end is not yet”.
© Dr. Stella L. Luna
Ambassador for Peace, Institute of Peace
and Development, INSPAD
All rights reserved.
With permission to publish.
Isabelita Espinosa weeps for her 16 year old son killed when armed men opened fire in a Manila slum. Six others including three children and a pregnant women were also killed.Ezra Acayan is a documentary photographer based in Manila, primarily focusing on social issues and human rights. His work includes a documentary reportage on the suffering and abuse experienced by communities under the Philippine government’s war on drugs.
In 2017, together with a team of Reuters journalists, he was awarded a special merit at the Human Rights Press Awards for multimedia reporting on the drug war.
In 2018, he received both the Ian Parry Scholarship Award for Achievement and the Lucie Foundation Photo Taken Emerging Scholarship, as well as being named Young Photographer of the Year at the Istanbul Photo Awards. This work—along with work by other journalists who cover the drug war—has been exhibited in Geneva for two straight years as part of the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines at the United Nations Human Rights Council. It has also been exhibited at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Thailand (FCCT), in France during the Prix-Bayeux Calvados Award for War Correspondents, in Sarajevo during the WARM Festival, and in Germany during the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism.
Acayan has done multimedia work for various outfits such as Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, Agence France-Presse, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, and the French Society magazine. He has also done work for NGOs such as Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, Care International, and the French Red Cross.
World Press Photo Involvement:
Award-winning photographer 2019 Photo Contest