Peace Torch '96/'97 Bearer Page

We can not ignore the past in the attempt to maintain peace. We must remember the past and learn from it; that is its highest value. Should we ignore or forget it, we truly are doomed to repeat it. This page is dedicated to all who have given their lives in the name of PEACE and FREEDOM.


by: E. Fay Dyer-Austin

The silence is deafening as I struggle to hear
A voice, a sound, someone must be near

The screaming cries run around in my head
I wish them away, all the sounds of the dead

Winds blowing fiercely, leaves whipping by
In an effort to send the stench heaven high

It's heavy in the air, that strong bloody smell
Penetrating the earth, straight down to hell

But heaven nor hell can ever erase
The stark look upon the statue face

It's there for all the world to see
Carved into stone, staring right at me

They're sightless eyes, no emotion they bear
Then why can I see the pain etched there

The tall, straight posts with hole after hole
Cross after cross tells how high the toll

Oh come and explain to my aching heart
How my fellow man could take such a part

In the inhuman torture that went on here
It's like a dense fog, yet crystal clear

It's pointless and useless to place any blame
On something that each of us share in this shame

Now walking back toward the gates open wide
My weak, trembling legs want to run and hide

But with one last glance at willows that cried
For all who suffered and needlessly died

I begged the strong winds, please always care
For those whose lives mankind would not spare

And I promised to write and make the world aware
Of the last ray of hope in their silent prayer

**Written after 1994 visit to the
WWII execution compound, Oostaaker,
in northern Belgium

Featured on "Poem of the Day" Georgian Blue Poetry Society
Published in the 1996 "Georgian Blue Poetry Anthology"


by: E. Fay Dyer-Austin

A fort of concrete stands un-proud
Wholly surrounded by a watery shroud

Many footsteps walking beside my own
It's just not possible to walk alone

Too many have lived in sorrow and toiled
Through these corridors, stained and soiled

Hard stone floors, rooms with doors of bars
Bodies bare, reveal bodies covered with scars

Flesh is not the only place one can bear a scar
Walls and floors and corners carry more by far

Muffled the sound if they dare speak a word
But silence is best, lest someone be heard

The punishment couldn't possibly befit the crime
Misdeed not only theirs, but also yours and mine

Walking vacant quarters, leading into barren hall
I swear lost souls were pleading in their call

A haunting or imagination working over-time
One can't ignore either as wooden planks I climb

Where do the planks lead; to a room made for pain
Torture chamber to kill, or at least drive insane

On to a narrow space holding boxes, body shape
My instinct was to fling a black, heavy drape

To cover such a mournful and sad visual sight
I could envision victims put there in black of night

Shadows in the corners, whispers of a ghost
The thought of what went on, tortured me the most

Touring of this gruesome fort is over none too soon
One can bear just so much of all this doom and gloom

So welcoming would be the door to lead me any where
Such relief to see the sun, to breathe in fresh air

Refreshing air and daylight sky, the horror doesn't end
Along a gravel path is more terror blowing in the wind

Ceremonial platform and flowers lend no softness at all
Execution posts, bullet holes, list of names upon a wall

Celebration, remembrance, honors for those who died
Puddles I walked around were filled with tears they cried

Are they the true martyrs, the ones to look up to
Answers come from ones own heart, be it me or you

I left with a changed attitude and a heavy laden heart
What I left behind can't be an end, it must be a new start

**Written after a 1994 visit to the WWII
concentration camp-prison, Breendonk, in
northern Belgium

This page is also a special tribute to the memory of a young man from my home town, Sgt. Gary LaBohn, whose POW-MIA bracelet I wore after he became "missing in action" in Laos, in 1968. Gary's remains were finally located and returned to his home town of South Lyon/New Hudson, Michigan in 1990. One of many brave persons who have paid the highest cost for the world to live in PEACE! Gary, you will not be forgotten.

Copyright : ©1996-1997 RHYMESTER POETRY,INK.

E. Fay Dyer-Austin can be e-mailed at
This is an excerpt from her page reprinted with
grateful thanks for her permission.
Rhymester's Peace Page