Peace fled

Inspired by Merril, I had a go at writing a contribution to the poets for peace chain of poetry. I don’t do prayer, or God, or even hope with any great conviction. Still, I know what is worth fighting for.

Edvard_Munch_-_Death_and_the_Child_(1899),_Kunsthalle_Bremen

Peace drops with the dew,

Ripples in the blackbird’s throat,

Curls with the vixen and her cubs,

Sucks its thumb with the sleeping child.

Peace falls with the first rays and the last,

The moonlight and the sunlight,

And it threads among the stars,

Into the secret dark of space.

But not here, buzz the black flies of war,

In these shiny, polished rooms,

Where men is suits or long black robes

With stones for hearts and blinkered eyes

And money in vaults and protected lives

Plot and plan with long, cold fingers

To steal the song from the blackbird’s throat,

The peace from the vixen’s joyful cubs,

And fill the limpid dreams of the sleeping child

With the bloody sludge

Of nightmares.

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “Peace fled”

    1. The world gives me goosebumps, Sarah. I don’t trust people not to make a bollix of everything, and people who have a nice safe, easy time in a rich well-defended country, can’t preach love and forgiveness to people who are suffering. I’m terribly pessimistic, I know, but I only believe in individual ‘goodness’ and heroism and courage, not collective good will.

      1. I worry that clicking a crying face on Facebook, or retweeting a pitiful post or changing your profile picture is making people feel they are “Doing Something” even though in reality they aren’t really doing anything at all. Even so, I like your poem very much, and I join you in your assessment of the human race’s capacity to bollix things up. It all feels very scary at the moment.

      2. And I wish people would stop praying about it. I tend to agree with that old horror, Paisley on that one: ‘Ye cannot petition the Lord with prayer!’ One wonders why they bother;

    1. Thank you for having the initiative to start something like this. I won’t pretend I don’t think it’s just preaching to the converted, but we need to keep up morale too.

      1. I think you might be surprised if you read through the contributions. They are coming in from around the world and an abstraction can be expounded on in so many ways.
        Plus, though we join one another’s poems by addition, they get multiplied with reading. I didn’t have an agenda (I know you’re not suggesting I do) just wanted to join my voice with other Poets and start talking about Peace.
        That being said, I know what you mean. Any ideas what we can do differently?
        I do appreciate you. Adding your voice with ours is something rather than tsking about it. And writing is what we do. Thanks so much, Jane.

      2. By preaching to the converted, I didn’t mean to be disparaging, simply that it would be astonishing if you had warmongers joining their voice to the chain of peaceful poems. We all want peace—those who don’t usually pretend they do anyway—but our economies are so tied up with arms, wars and conflicts of all kinds, backing up ‘allies’ in their internal and external conflicts, building nuclear subs etc etc that we can’t get away from the fact that we are profitting from conflict. Our lifestyle is bolstered by the money made from the deals with countries at war. We are at the mercy of big business, and we have become dependent on their profits. I hate it, but that’s what we have to change—global political systems. Count me in for the revolution.

      3. I agree, and did not take your words that way. I just can’t get the image of Gandhi a d his followers being caned when they walked to the ocean. We have to oppose the violence more vociferously. Those Corporations took over the media for a reason, but we have a voice with our blogs. Thanks for clarifying. This dialogue is exactly what is needed, even among us Peaceniks. ✌

      4. I think you’re right. It’s not enough to say, I’m peaceful, therefore war and killing isn’t anything to do with me. It is. No one is innocent, as the old song goes. We have to be aggressively peaceful maybe, demand of our governments that they stop the cronyism with arms manufacturers, covering up deals, making trade agreements with despots and ordures. Sounds like a revolution to me.

      5. Yep, death to oligarchies, plutocracies and despotism. ACTIONABLE is key. What can we DO next? What can we do with the collaboration? Mail it to the politicians, proxies for the military-industrial complex we were warned about over half a century ago?
        Again, thanks for joining. Your words are powerful

      6. I’m glad you don’t think I’m just mouthing off. I feel very deeply about the harm we’re doing to one another and the planet. If anybody knows a friendly politician or magazine, a bit of visible noise wouldn’t go amiss. Nice to know there are like-minded people around though. It helps. Cheers 🙂

      7. No, not at all. In fact I think all of the poet’s contributing are serious like-minded people who want to see a change. That’s exactly why I engage in this discourse when I read a thoughtful comment like yours. At some point I hope to supplement this initial collaboration with a post soliciting ideas for what we can actually do next. Peace,
        Michael

  1. Thanks for adding your words (and the shout out). Your words here are very powerful. I know what you mean that perhaps it’s preaching to the choir, but who knows?
    I’ve feeling very discouraged with all the support the man with the hair has here. They’re certainly not persuaded by facts.

    1. People don’t want facts, they want the lies that comfort their own ideas, and when the lies come out in the open, they can plead ignorance, that they were conned, and it wasn’t their fault.

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