The Poems Of Wayne Ray

[Lest We Forget the Human
Dust in the Tears of God]

Wayne Ray - Poets For Peace

Ray's Family Tree

Wayne (Scott) Ray was born in Alabama and spent most of his first fifteen years with his family on Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland until moving to Woodstock Ontario in 1965. He lived in Toronto with his (ex)wife and two daughters Leanne & Jaclyn from 1973-1988 when they moved to London Ontario in July of 1988. Wayne is the founder of HMS Press Publishing, the Multicultural Poetry Reading Series (University of Toronto), Scarborough Arts Council Poetry Contest, co-founder and Secretary/Treasurer of the Canadian Poetry Association (1985-88 Toronto & 1992-1995 London) and co-chairman of the League of Canadian Poets: Associates (Toronto) for 1985/86.

He was co-director of the Beaches Poetry Workshop (Toronto) in 1983. Since moving to London he has helped form the Resource Center of the C.P.A & Online Bookstore and was the National Coordinator of the C.P.A. He was the recipient of the Editors Prize for 'Best Poet Published in 1989' from Canadian Author and Bookman. He was instrumental in helping establish the London Arts Council and is the Past President of the New London Arts Festival for 1999-2001. He is listed in Who's Who in Ontario 1995. Wayne has several books of poetry and non-fiction published as well as credits in; anthologies, periodicals, journals and newspapers across Canada between 1983 and 2005. He was living in Fredericton New Brunswick in 2002/03 but is now back in London.


We were unable to help you
flesh torn barbed wire
scraping red your bare skin
like a lover's fingernails digging in
drawing you closer to her.
I, we, saw you running, muscles pumping.
Your heart filled our eyes with tears
both for your last burst to freedom and for fear.
Fear of dog tracks in your footsteps
as they clamped your throat and drank
your breath into their hot lungs.
Ripped bone white you hung
in your new found freedom
and as the guards pulled you
from your steel sanctuary,
two blood stained barbs caught your cheeks
and pulled a smile across your face.


Tonight I found something
I thought I had lost;
along the Black Wall
my fingers felt the souls of time,
passed over strangers, old friends,
fifteen years of unnecessary bloodshed,
checked through forty or fifty names
in the Book of The Black Wall,
holding back the tears, lest
I should find one name I knew
having known them before adolescence.
I could not visualize them maimed
or missing in action or dead.
I could not see them clothed in khaki,
gun in hand, forgetting
the one thing they and I had lost,
our childhood.


was not a good year for war vets.
Few made it past Christmas,
some slipped through the New Year.
All of them slipped through our memories.
was not a good year to die,
you can't say I love you
when you're gone,
you can't share the good times
when you're gone,
you can't clean your gun
when you're gone,
you can't play with your grandchildren
when you're gone,
you can't change your will
when you're gone,
you can't smile
when you're gone,
you can't tell war stories
when you're gone,
you can't hug me
when you're gone,
you can't say I Love You
you just.....can't..


What is it you saw or didn't see
when you walked into that country,
blinded by glory
the ins and outs
lights and oil
sand and stone
burkha and bazooka.

What is it you saw or didn't see
before dropping terror on that innocent country,
sitting in a tavern on that Friday night,
if you can remember the tavern
or the night for that matter,
planning every one else's life.
It was the night before giving the orders:

You thought you were protecting
the world from terrorists,
forcing your democracy on
Allah Akbar,
inflaming the Arab Fatwah
captured on Al Gazirah.

Believe me when I say
you won't be remembered for your vision
as Commander in Chief
of the US Military and Coalition of the Willing.

You think you are every man
and all men, except the French
whom you now despise,
so I guess you will never come
across Voltaire who wrote about you
200 years ago when He said:

Everyman is guilty of the good
        he did not do"


My uncle went to Germany last year
to find those poets and politicians
who had shaped his childhood, but he
could not find that lunatic fringe you see,
for they smoked their last cigarette in 1943.

[Ed note: The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the website owner.   This site believes in freedom of expression of many viewpoints.]

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