All, Save One

[This poem was written for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27th January 2013, and is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. It was recently inspired by Rachel Lucas’ very well written blog post – Mozartsgirl’s Reflection and Remembrance – which I recommend you read first. I shall also offer this to the dVerse Poets OpenLinkNight]


Variola vera,
the red plague
has all but gone;
wiped from the face
of the earth.
TB is beatable,
cholera and malaria too.
Cancers multifarious
have receded as a threat,
but who would deny
the hope living strong
that all of them, one day,
will be treatable and gone.

All, perhaps, save one.

We know the secrets,
and unhealthy causes
of our malaise
that shorten life.
Medical science
and, Lord knows, WHO
advise us all that
common sense
and oranges
exercise and laughter..

..yes laughter
particularly laughter

and, perhaps, prayer…

will ensure that we
live longer, happier
lives; maybe
genetically modified
lives, but longer
all the same.

Is that it, is that all?
You know it isn’t.

There is one disease,
for which there is,
yet, no known cure!
It’s pathogens
aren’t known;
no medical research
to establish its
cause, has ever
been shown to exist.

Does it reveal itself
in subtle ways?
At first, maybe,
the bullying at school;
a propensity
to hurt?
Ironic Josef M,
the experimenter?
Who knows, because
we, who have not
succumbed to this
extreme condition,
can never fathom
the depths of he,
or she,
who could become
an angel of death;
who could, today,
take a journey to…


and not feel
the unbearable pain
of millions,
bleeding from their walls.

Is it a terminal disease
that lies still dormant
in all of us, to which
the most of us
have developed
an immunity?

Save the few …

Is it a switch
inside the brain
over which the few
have no control;
for which there is
no cure, but death?

It has a name,
a very simple name,
whose tone belies
its true significance.

It is Hate.
It is Evil.
It is pure,

And this is not descriptive
of the disease …
it is
the disease

Is it within our grasp
to purge humanity
of this malaise as well…

or will it always have to be …

All, save one?

© 2013 John Anstie

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