Still, they lie

Today is a day for remembering what we have no memories of, except in our collective memory as human beings. The image is too awful to linger on, but horror like this should never be forgotten.

A quadrille for dverse.


Still, they lie,

in the speckled light of dust motes,

memories heavy with grief.

Still, they lie,

faded faces,

with eyes full of sorrow,

because the terror came later

or before.

We will never know them,

but that does not mean

we should forget.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

64 thoughts on “Still, they lie”

  1. Never forget. Lovely. Especially this line; in the speckled light of dust motes. We say this but so many of us go through the motions, remembering them one day, not the rest of the year, remembering is more than a designated day isn’t it? This was lovely.

  2. Powerful poem and a great response to the challenge. A difficult subject tackled with just the right amount of sensitivity and thought-provoking-ness. I agree with thefeatheredsleep above, we do go through the motions on these subjects and it’s up to us to capture, remind and provoke through art

    1. Thank you for those words. It isn’t easy hijacking somebody’s death, but it’s the only thing I have to give. Doesn’t do anyone any good, but the words are there, if anyone wants to read them.

      1. Unfortunately memories fade with each generation and mistakes are made all over again. Fact becomes somehow fiction.

  3. Powerful beyond measure, reminding us of historical tragedy. lest we forget. I get sad as young people today text & babble on their phones & pay no heed to history–especially today with Trump hovering over his nuclear arsenal & madmen everywhere waiting to capitulate.

  4. I went to an Anzac day ceremony when living in Auckland and was moved by the tributes, yours is really touching here Jane and just reminded me of it. May we always remember the sacrifice.

    1. That’s one form of waste of life that must never be forgotten, but at least those men were fighting for a cause they believed in. The victims of genocide had no defence and no choice. My heart bleeds for them.

    1. Thanks Diana. I think it’s hit the right nerve then. We ought to feel guilty and uncomfortable with ourselves. So many of us still don’t see anything wrong with these horrors and would cheerfully do it all again.

    1. If humanity doesn’t save itself, who will? Aliens? I don’t believe in supernatural help, we haven’t had any so far. WE have to realise the enormity of OUR crimes and vow to stamp on the flames whenever some monster lights another fire. I don’t mean to sound aggressive, but we’re fighting an election against this kind of monstrous thinking, and the Christian Democrats are advising Christians to vote for it. I’m sickened.

      1. There is definitely a battle in our world between forces of good and evil, light and darkness. It is supernatural and we’re either part of God’s kingdom or we are pawns of the devil’s schemes. Neither religion nor politics can save us in this spiritual fight…both can be disappointing/sickening.

  5. There is no rhyme or reason for the atrocities of man. We may never know them, or then again we may. The world is such a crazy place today, it’s honestly hard to tell what we may see tomorrow

    1. They probably always will be. Reading some of the sickening comments on twitter about the genocide memorials makes me wonder about the people who make them. Do they look different to the rest of us?

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