Remembrance, Forgiveness, Hope

Of a place called Jonestown
And the dignity and unity
Of its inhabitants–
Family, friends, and those who
Joined along the way.
An inter-racial, social democratic
Society dedicated to serve all people.

Long in coming and difficult
To utter.
I forgive you Jim Jones
For forcing mass murder
On the inhabitants of
No bitterness remains,
Only pity for your soul.

All is not lost.
Recent global demonstrations
Demanding equality and
Social justice have prevailed.
One day soon, nations with
Much will share with those
Who have not.

Proud am I of family
And friends who manifested
Goodness and made it
A reality.

May they rest in peace.

(This poem was recently published in Great Poets Across America: A Celebration of National Poetry Month (Shrewsbury, PA: Eber & Wein Publishing, 2012).

(Guy Brewster Young is a former member of Peoples Temple. His poems in this edition of the jonestown report are We were part of a larger family and Mona. His earlier writings are here. He can be reached at