Spoken Word Group Piece with The Afghan Peace Volunteers & Luke

The Afghan Peace Volunteers and Luke Nephew of The Peace Poets

Live from Kabul, October seventh, 2013

The 12th Anniversary of the United States War in Afghanistan.


As the war turns 12

Me and other Youth in Afghanistan worry we will not make it alive to visit our families for Eid,

As the war turns 12,

Women in Afghanistan are still sold and traded, beaten and degraded

we are still demanding our education… but over two thousand and five hundred

Afghan women have committed suicide so far in 2013

As the war turns 12,

Drone attacks still kill kids like they did my two classmates and my brother in law

Night raids terrify the people praying

For a chance to sleep through the night in peace

As the war turns 12, We, the young people are 75 percent of society,

But we struggle for basic education.

We are searching for a peace and unity we have never seen.

We want to design the future ourselves… because as the war turns 12

The US military says they should have total impunity for their crimes-

but We ask why!

Why do they think they should not be held responsible

As the war turns 12

We hope it will not be possible for the US to leave 9 permanent bases the way they want to

As the war turns 12, American people protest imperial violence

and demand their government stop this war, respect the human rights of everyone in Bagram and Guantanamo bay, WE say Salaam Alaykum, peace to all people, As the war turns 12:

The people of Afghanistan WANT

Enough peace to hear the music of their land,

the laughter of their children,

the sound of a man laying a brick to build a home that he can know is not

going to be destroyed

But war turns people into enemies

Schools into battlefields

Homes into badly built bomb shelters

War turns, us against, each other

But we turn, toward each other

to love all sisters and brothers

We will turn this war torn nation

Back into a place where we can dance

And that is our dream,

We are hoping

This war will never turn thirteen…

Too Beautiful to Burn – Dinnertime Gunshots

The sun has just set and we’re sitting in a circle on the floor. This is how we eat here. There’s ten men and five plates of food. Each plate shared by two hungry men. And tea. There is always tea. Tonight, dinner is good. We’re halfway through our five plates of potatoes and rice and baow. We freeze for two seconds. Baow, Baow. Two more shots ring out. The young men jump to their feet and away from the windows. Within two seconds they seem to be behind the thickest parts of the walls. Dr. Hakim and a few of the guys are still sitting. There is a ten seconds of silence. We all wait to see what will come. Just quiet. The sounds of the street. A carhorn. There is some hustle and bustle, someone running somewhere. Exhale. Faiz looks out the window. Doesn’t seem like anything he says.

They all laugh. Oh, you jumped! No you jumped! You we’re scared. They look at me and smile, “Luke, whats the matter you don’t like the potatoes?” I had switched over to tea. “They’re delicious”, I say. I’ll be back for more in a second. I was sitting there reflecting on how gunshots sound so different this far home. My galloping heart slows back down in my chest and I shake my head amazed at these young men who’ve lived through 12 years of constant war and so generous with their joy.