Shahriar Shahriari

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Poems - Critique of Society - Group 9
iv. Churchill & Gandhi


I once had a dream in which under some spell
I was transported to a place between heaven and hell
In that place I saw Churchill and Gandhi
Having an interesting discussion right before me.
Churchill said, "your philosophy of non-violence
Is very nice, yet it would never stand a chance
In dealing with the likes of Adolf Hitler
I am glad you decided to keep out of there
Hitler is evil, and that's the brute reality
You must destroy such distorted morality. "
Gandhi listened patiently, then paused for a while
Looked at Churchill and gave him his trademark smile
Gandhi said, "the results of my well considered analysis
Your spiritual belief causes this paralysis.
When you believe in the eternal war between Satan and God
Anything but the destruction of the evil doer will be flawed
You must either fight on the side of the Most High
Or join Satan's crusade, and thus side with lie
Abstention is not an option in this fight
You must be wrong if you do not side with right.
With this thinking Satan is evil's first cause
Because you must fulfill all natural laws.
Non-violence is nothing but an impotent naivete
Wishful thinking, blind to the brute reality.
When you believe in Satan as first cause
In the face of adversity you can't pause
Else be attacked and destroyed by Satan
This seems to be our differences, dear Winston.
"I believe in the Almighty as first cause
Evil is simply caused by our flaws.
I don't pray to one God and fear another
By any name, Devil, Satan, or Hell's mother.
In my thinking, evil cannot be destroyed
Must be transformed, through its cause upward bouyed.
Ignorance is the first cause of evil
There is no such thing as Satan or devil.
You cannot destroy ignorance, nor kill
No matter how much you try or will
A vacuum you can only fill
If its destruction you must fulfill,
Darkness can only be transformed by light
How can you destroy "nothing", "nothing" fight?
There is only one path, and that's to transform
With care ignorance to wisdom reform.
All else is believing in Satan and God
One is wise, the other wrathful and proud.
Restraint comes from real power, not impotence
Dear Winston, in this lies are difference."

Winston said, "but in this fight you'll face attacks
By the likes of Hitler, with arms on their backs.
Fascist mobs in the streets trying to kill
Anybody who will not conform to their will
How will you react when you're beaten until you die
Who needs Hell when in earthly flames you can fry. "

Gandhi replied, "it is true, I may die,
Beaten to death while on the ground unconsciously lie.
But there must be something even higher than life
For which I am willing to take bullet or knife.
And for me that higher goal is the truth
To compromise and sell my soul is uncouth.
If you believe that death only brings an endless void
Then naturally, at any cost, death you'll avoid
I don't believe that death is the final end
But a gate to a realm that this one will transcend.
And so, even if I am faced by a nod mob
Whose intention is simply my life to rob
I will live my final moments without sin
Control all my reactions from within
My highest truth I lovingly abide
Till their lust for violence subside.
And if in this process I die
I'll get closer to the Most High.
Perhaps I'll even trigger their remorse
At least I won't make this earth any worse. "
Churchill responded, "dear M..K.
I understand that this is your way.
But to your way, I admit
There's no way I can commit.
To me life is the truth most high
And for that reason I will not die.
I may even tell a white lie
But against Hitler I won't stand by."

Gandhi said, "Winston, me dear
I too, like you, life do cheer
On the line, lay my life so dear
Yet will not kill out of fear;
Every good reason that I hear
Presents evils distinct and clear,
Yet fighting evil distant or near
Will not make evil disappear.
Not giving evil the ground or sphere
To play on my mind, from my path veer
Destroys evil, say both sage and seer.
In this path I may shed blood and tear
And if to truth I remain sincere,
Pain and grief will redeem my fear.
"But Winston I do not ask you to
Believe in the things that I do
My purpose is not to transform mankind
By convincing their logical mind.
If my truth is mistaken and false
Let this erroneous path stop my pulse
But if my path is righteous and true
Let it present its point of view
Through practice and the test of time
None can be fooled by the words of a mime.
If you believe, believe in the things I do
Not in the things that I present to you.
Our words are drowned in the power of action
This is the truth's power and attraction.

"Through many an honest raid
I have seen history replayed
With blood against evil paid
Yet Paradise have delayed.
Fighting evil with violent power
Has not brought the wished for hour.
I try in my own small way
To transform evil, evil sway
Towards goodness, truth and right
Thus prove that truth always brings might.
And if we keep the truth in sight
At last conclude this eternal fight."

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
August 19-26, 1997

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