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January 2, 1994 ·  , Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer


PEACE is not the silence of the guns, the end of war.
It is nor pretending that evil never stalked this land
Or the innocent dying in suffering and in chains.
Peace can only come when justice has been done
To ease the pain of open wounds and heal the angry hearts. Is the road to peace down the pathways of the past,
To forget and cover-up misdeeds and smother truth?
When those we loved were torn away and killed?

Will we forget the darkest night when the wretched of the earth
Hung from prison walls for their truly held beliefs
The darkened dungeons echoed with their cries and screams,
Enough to shrink the bravest heart with fear?

An uncaring world stopped up its ears and looked away
While eyes were gouged and human limbs were broken
One by one or electric shocks made them beg for death.

Their torture has no end. No peace for them, not even the silence of the grave to end their torment,
It pursued them in the nightmares of their minds,
On the brightest day, in the darkest night, to the farthest mountain peak
There is no escape from the memories of the maniacs
Who pleasured as they pained.

The bravest stood serene
Enduring all wit conviction un-betrayed.
Reviled and spat upon with dignity they died.
Their spirits roam this troubled land seeking peace
For both the living and the dead.
Justice they demand.

Forgiveness is never easy
To those who suffered torture and endless loss.
Crying “peace” will never heal the vicious wounds of war.
Only justice has the power to purge the soul and give
The freedom to understand injustice, forgive an enemy,
Overcome the torment and the fear and make this nation new.

Forgiveness, the kind that heals the victim, sows the seed of peace.
Like a desert cactus touched by gentle rain,
It brings to bud a flower we never thought could be.

Peace is when the land theirs who work it and die on it.
It is when the prison gate opens for the innocent and closes on the guilty.
Peace is when a nation’s wealth brings an equal chance to all.
It fills the mind with knowledge, the hand with skills, the home with food.
Peace is a nation standing against violence and brutality.
It prosecutes the unjust, it frees the innocent,
It brings light into take darkness.
Peace thrives on the truth.
It is giving not taking.
It is when people become friends.

Peace is a passionate lover of life,
Like music to the ear, it is balm to soul, it’s in the song of a bird, the sound of the breeze,
The color of the sunset, the gentle beating of the heart.
It grows among us when we respect and listen,
When we share our thoughts and feelings,
When we have compassion and concern.

Peace is the harmony of creation.
The dance of the stars, the waltz of the plants
The galactic swirl.

It is the voice of the universe talking to itself
It is in us when we touch the Almighty,
It is the beginning of life and its true end.

Shay Cullen

Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer Dated: January 02, 1994


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