My Journey -An Influence

In order to tell my story, for you or anyone to better understand me as I am now, I need to tell my past and to share the events that have shaped my life.

I think with us all, an event as it occurs may have little direct impact – life goes on as it always has, but that event will leave a seed that can grow or subtly influence our thoughts and actions. We are shaped by many things both great and small, but the smaller things may shape us the most.

I would like to share something with you  that has had a great influence on my life. But first a little background.

A few weeks ago my oldest son found some things of mine that had been long forgotten. Among them were some poems I written around the time I was at school and first at university (the early 70’s).

A line from one of these poems had been echoing around in my mind for some time, and Sam’s finding it brought it to my attention again. Yesterday I heard “facebook” had banned an image  that was the seed to my poem some 34 years ago. What follows is the poem as I first wrote it mid 1972 immediately after the event occurred, that triggered it. In the poem I refer to another event that had occurred two years before but is strongly linked in my mind.

I watched television again last night

Only for something to do.

“They missed again with their bombing”

The man said.

“Nothing serious”

And a girl ran naked

Screaming from the Napalm.

The reader droned on.

One hundred or more people

Died that night, fighting for the dim

And lofty beliefs of others,

And the price of eggs rose by one cent.

I turned it off when I head

That four people were shot

Because they believed in peace

And wore no shoes

The events that formed this poem was a news item from the Vietnam war. It was broadcast in June 1972. It was an event that  helped mobilise the movement for Peace. It was an catalyst. It crystalized by intention to become a “conscientious objector” it my time came. Fortunately it was time and shortly  after that Gough Whitlam was elected Prime Minister and as one of his first acts withdrew our forces from Vietnam.

Here is the image – Click to view the original News Broadcast

Kim Phuc - Napalm Victim

Kim Phuc – Napalm Victim 1972

This is the aftermath of the other event.

Kent State Massacre

Mary Ann Vecchio  – 1970
Kent State University Massacre

May 4th, 1970 12:24 pm (UTC-5) “The Kent State Massacre – Ohio”

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Posted in Our Stories, Quite Interesting, Uncategorised

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