The Socialist Unity Network

Silence for the dead

Catherine Turner


Two minutes’ silence for the dead,

It’s proper and right and appropriate

For some – understand – only the deserving.

Christian, civilized, western deaths, worse than all other tragedies.


There’s no silence in Palestine or Iraq

Or in the labs and factories.


There’ll be no silence in Afghanistan

When you’ve finished your little ceremony.

Destruction before and destruction after.

Your silence preparation to go on with the show.


Silence with your mouths, murder with your missiles

Mourning for the dead, maiming for the living.


As the towers crumbled and thousands of lives stolen

You set your course and no turning back.

Carry on bombing, carry on lying

People of the world toy soldiers.


Silent smiles, quiet calculation

Welcoming your blessing in disguise.


Your silence is a falsehood

Your peacefulness a mask

Under the lid is restless preparation

Bubbling blood and misery


You don’t want us silent, you want us silenced

Fist in our mouths with soft glove of properness


Scream for the dead, wake up for the dead,

For the dead, the dying and the numbered

Take over the streets, refuse to be beaten

To bring some chance of survival


Your silence for the dead is death for the living.

Our living and clamour brings hope for the dying.


Jump up and down and bellow for the dead

Turn the world over and rip out its roots

Mourn but move, fight and fail,

But never, ever, be silent.


August 2004


For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism