Headline Haiku: War Is Not Healthy (for children and other living things)

war is not healthy haiku s

memory fails to
stop enduring grief
face death alone

war is not healthy s

In 2015, when this post originally appeared, the New York Times published a chart explaining some of the ways civilians have died in the Syrian War.  A little research online shows that in modern warfare it is estimated that 85-90% of all casualties are civilians (June 2014 American Journal of Public Health).  War also wreaks havoc on the environment, leading to more death.

A Hard Rain

has fallen shadowed
by endless endings, ghosts both
multiplied and lost

Some estimates of civilians killed in recent and ongoing conflicts:
Sudan-Darfur  200,000
Iraq  170,000
Syria  200, 000
Congo  60,000
Afghanistan  45,000
Pakistan  35,000
Mexico  50,000
Libya  30,000
Chechnya  100,000
Eritrea-Ethiopia  70,000
Sierra Leone  70,000

These numbers have only increased since 2015.

in which endings are both lost and multiplied close up s
war is not healthy poster s

There are not enough tears to encompass all this sorrow.

Bjorn at dVerse asked us to write poems of war. I decided to repost some of my headline haiku embroideries–I did a number of them from 2015-2017 when war was in the headlines every day. Now we’ve moved on to other things, but lest we forget, civilians and soldiers are still losing both their lives and homes every single day all over the world


Silence weeps
and eyes refuse sight.
No questions
can be posed,
nor answers given. Light is
erased. Dust and blood.

37 thoughts on “Headline Haiku: War Is Not Healthy (for children and other living things)

  1. This is outstanding, Kerfe. It could be an exhibition of words and images. It is so tragic and horrible. I don’t think most people consider the after effects of war–people killed by disease or famine, or even the crime that develops because people don’t have supplies. And people, often children who were playing, still killed by landmines of long past wars.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, it’s good to remind us all that for every soldier killed in war, there are a thousand civilians, not to mention the rapes and mutilations, starvation and destruction, refugee displacements and deaths. The soldier with his rifle is the armed tip of the iceberg.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks David. With a sharp needle, but only with simple stitches. It does tear sometimes, and I put scotch tape on the back. But mostly not. It’s less forgiving than fabric, but worth it for the effect, which is quite different, much more ephemeral.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘not enough tears to encompass all this sorrow’ ~~ my former husband was stationed at the Marine Base Hospital in DaNang Vietnam 1967 – 1968. As a physician and on his way to becoming a surgical pathologist … he performed autopsies on our soldiers who had killed each other over women and drugs. Yet more casualties of war ….. A great write, Kerfe.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What is it about the human species that makes us decide to exterminate each other? Other species’ members have disagreements or even one-on-one fights, but wide-scale extermination is distinctly the realm of humans. Your stitching images are haunting. You’re right, there will never be enough tears 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kaykuala
    When civilians are the prize called for by the powerful and price to pay for human conflict it reflects the intensity of intentions and insensitivity of emotions. You struck the reality of war so powerfully K! .Great!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. In the nineties. I went to Bosnian and three times to Africa for food, water and medico missions. I saw dead cities and starvation. War, hunger and sickness. Rarely spoke about and killing millions. It is sad. USA will spend 1.2 trillion for war and very little to help our world. We need more people to show this world. Wars are being fought and the innocence die and become homeless. Powerful and needed words shared. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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