Defeat and Victory – a poem by Bill Purkayastha

Not something I normally put up on this blog but, with the murderous situations created by Western aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and now for our neighbours in Syria, this piece by Bill Purkayastha author of ‘Bill the Butcher‘ blog has a special resonance and needs to be out there. In my opinion, Bill has a place in the long and honourable tradition of anti-war poets – he can be hard to stomach, especially if you have your origins in those (mostly) Western counties that lie at the heart of darkness for much of humankind for they are often his targets. Although it will not be a comfortable experience, I urge you to visit his blog.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

 Defeat and Victory

I get it – I understand your message
In terms of blood and iron.
You are strong
You have power over me.
And so –
What use is your power?
What is the worst you can do to me
Kill me?
Tear apart my body
Leave me a bleeding corpse?
Yes, you can do that
If you want. Is that your victory?
Everyone has to die someday.
Killing me is not your victory.
I will not bow to you
You will not make me cower
In fear. You can kill me
But you can’t frighten me
You can’t keep me silent.
You can crush me
But you can’t frighten me
You can defeat me
But you can’t conquer me.
And you can knock me down
But you can’t make me bow down
And that is your defeat
That is my victory.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2013

14 thoughts on “Defeat and Victory – a poem by Bill Purkayastha

  1. Alan, Good on you for turning us on to Bill’s blog. The poem is great but some of the articles he’s written on the blog are terrific. The one on the Iran-Iraq war is spot-on; ditto for the one on Syria. Finally, you gotta love a guy who coins a name like “Killary Klingon” for the U.S. Secretary of State.

    1. This has come as something of a relief, on a blog of this type I’m aware that some may find reading/thinking outside of the ‘conventional’ box threatening. Your ‘endorsement’ tells me it was the right thing. Bill’s articles are well researched, well written, smack you right between the eyes and often come at the subject from a different perspective. If nothing else he makes you think! Power to his elbow!

  2. The Poem is really great and very touching. It is the story between the defeat and victory. The perspective is very well written and I love it. Thanks a lot for sharing this Alan.

    1. . . thank you for commenting Marnie. So many people hurting because of greed – the system has to go!

  3. I’ve had my year of living like PollyAnna, ignoring the papers, turning a deaf ear to injustices and just smelling the flowers. I’ve really enjoyed it but I suppose it’s time to return to the real planet earth and I guess you and Bill are the guys to reawaken my conscience.

    1. I doubt it needs much of a shake Annie, what I find difficult to understand is some people’s indifference – turning away. That old quote – ‘First they came for the communists, and I said nothing. Then they came for the Jews, and I said nothing. And then they came for me and there was no one to speak for me.’

  4. Many thanks for the unexpected praise! I really do appreciate it.

    I’ll be writing a bit less for the next few weeks since I’m at work on a novel set in the aftermath of a civil war in West Africa, following up the fate of a former child soldier. When I finish it I’ll likely post it on the net for free download if I don’t speedily find a publisher. I’m tired of waiting and waiting for my books to be published till I lose all enthusiasm.

    Thanks again.

  5. . . the thanks are due, not from you, but from me and I suspect from many others like me. First, welcome to Archers, it is a privilege to have you here. Second, when you publish let me know, I want a signed copy as an investment for my extreme old age ;-). What you have to say, whether story, poem or political comment has value beyond what you may believe. As a corrupted and angry ‘old soldier’ your words have, if nothing else, helped me to get my head around so much – for that I owe you. Keep on trukkin’, my friend, words are like snowballs rolling down a very long hill!

  6. Very inspiring post. Made me realize that we hold our own destiny and it will always be up to us whether to choose defeat or victory.

    1. . . sitting back is not an option if we want change – everyone can do something to make a difference. Talking often seems passive, but it isn’t as long as it is towards a target.

  7. Nice poem. I agree it’s tough for an American to digest. But without voices of dissent, there is no progress and no change. We are all better off for all the voices of humanity.

    1. Hi and welcome to Archers! You’ve said it well – there are too many willing to turn away or accept what our monstrous governments do ‘in our name’. Well, not mine and not yours, I believe. Now I’m off to see what you write about 🙂

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