I walked the roads in the village squares
and met those who resided there.
In every village, in every town,
drops of blood lie on the ground.
Even in the antiquated,
dusty relics lie there tainted
with crimson crust of age-old deeds,
justified by shields with creeds,
men with power, ruthless might,
children dying, the peasants’ plight,
martyrs burning at the stake,
sacrifices for the state,
all for the moment, lost in sorrow,
newer states rise in tomorrow,
fragile dreams violence shattered,
gentle souls thought it mattered,
dreams the luxuries of slaves,
practical thoughts, the crutch of knaves.
The roads of the village led to today,
I’ve been on them since yesterday.
Written November 1982 when I was in Germany. This poem was later published in the Wright State College magazine.