Where Have All the Wise Men Gone?

” ‘We don’t know what to do,’ said Henry D. Sokolski, former Pentagon official. who now leads the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. ‘What’s the response to this (China’s threats of war over Taiwan) — do we just build more (guns, bombs, missiles), and are we going to be able to build more than they?”

The New York Times, April 19, 2023

Where have all the wise men gone?
Long time missing.
We didn’t listen to
them long time ago,
we will never learn.

Wise men once told us
to pursue the possibility
of peace,
now foolish men just show
us how to calculate the
likelihood of war.
We will never learn.

We’ll march together to our
graveyards some day, but
who’ll be left to cover them
with flowers?

• With thanks to Pete Seeger and Joe Hickerson for “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and all the others whose recordings in many languages made it one of the greatest political songs

George Salamon lives in St. Louis, MO, where he did not grow up. Read other articles by George.