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A nation once said that Cyclon B
was the final solution to the Jewish race
and conscience hid its face;
in furnace roar and chimney-stacks
men closed their eyes
and turned their backs -
and marched them all in hopeless rows
to concrete rooms and dark ghettos.

And history flinched when truth arose
and all the camps were laid in light,
while hardened men retched and swore
with bitter tears in ash-filled pits,
and vowed such evil would never more
on the breast of earth repose.

But cynically in the underlining of history
men did not learn the awful lesson,
and in a more sophisticated
yet no less brutal way rained down
Agent Orange on Vietnam brown.

Quaintly named the poisonous clouds,
Orange, white, pink and blue -
soil sterilants and arsenic too;
all misting down in long straight shrouds
from righteous men in transport planes.
And history paused once more in time,
your corporate evil underlined.

For eternity you should stand
in the glass-walled wards of
armless innocents and the knowing
of the stench and awful pain,
lying there on rotting fields;
countless numbers and cervical cancers'
wrench, of mothers misted in the rains
of Phuoc Tuyls plains.

The fury of your entanglement in
a war which you had no plan to win,
judges you,
as in Kiloton your poison sin
floated down in hot-sun wind -
without remorse killed men and trees
to keep a dying country free.

And in the masking boardroom's glass
walled so high on golden streets
company men grew sleek and fat;
rubbed their hands and grateful sighed
as young-old men came home to die -
and judged you are, not by degree
industrial giants and Cyclon B.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR


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