Skulls from victims of the Khmer Rouge are displayed in a stupa in Cambodia.
Piles of skulls in Cambodia and pictures of some of the estimated two to three million victims of the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79, photos by Marie-Claire Holmes.
Today we note its simple beauty
but it wasn't always so
once Cambodia was home
to Khmer Rouge killing fields
No democracy in Democratic Kampuchea
just warnings, torture, then execution
for contact with a foreigner
or any trumped-up charge
At least two million died or disappeared
under brutal Communist regime
the victims' photos with solemn expressions
lined up in rows as though posing for a college yearbook
But no bright futures materialised:
just hasty burials in mass graves
piles of skulls and bones in Choeung Ek or Tuol Sleng
chronicle too-brief lives and violent deaths
Ghosts of the departed linger
in this tragic country, still struggling
to move past the darkness
and embrace the light
For happier chronicles, visit Sunday Scribblings.