Monday, December 14, 2015

THREE POEMS FOR PEACE

At this time of year, when  many cultures all over the world are observing celebrations honouring light, love and peace, it seems fitting to offer three beautiful poems for peace, written by our own Mary,  Loredana Donovan, and Anjum Wasim Dar. I hope they resonate with you as much as they did with me, each one coming from a heart full of love and goodwill. May they blow through your heart like the winter wind, leaving everything fresh and new. Enjoy these poems of peace, my friends, an early gift to add to the many of the season.

Mary, who writes at In the Corner of My Eye, was very moved by this video, which went viral right after the tragic events in Paris in November. Do enjoy the music and its message, and Mary's beautiful poem in response. Paris is a city she has visited, that is dear to her heart.










Imagine, yes imagine,
what it would be like
if we could live in peace!

Imagine, yes imagine
what it would be like
if we could have no fear.

Imagine, yes imagine..
imagine, yes imagine..
no I really cannot see

how it will ever be possible
for hateful killing to end
and evil to be controlled.

Imagine, yes imagine
I wish I could imagine
peace not drifting further away.


Sherry: The combination of the video and your poem is very moving, Mary. And  the idea of peace drifting ever further away is saddening. Sigh. Tell us a bit about what was going through your heart as you wrote.

Mary: I wrote the poem “Imagine” the day after the terrorist attacks in the city of Paris.  I had been watching on-site journalists from CNN report on the situation, and one of them mentioned that behind them there was a man on a bicycle pulling a piano.  The reporters then mentioned that he set up his grand piano and began to play outside the Bataclan Theater.  And the song that he played was John Lennon’s “Imagine.”   I found myself listening to that song again (on Youtube)  and was then inspired to write my poem.


At first the name of the pianist  was not known, but eventually it was disclosed that he was Davide Martello, and he is known for traveling to areas of conflict and playing his piano. If you visit my blog post you will see a video of him playing.  I am very much moved every time I listen to him.

As far as the style of my poem, I decided to repeat the word ‘imagine’ in most every verse, to stress the importance of the word for me and, in a small way, to pay tribute to John Lennon’s song and to Davide Martello’s rendition of it in the face of such tragedy.  The message, I would say, mixes hope for peace with my own personal disillusionment that it is possible.

I do keep seeing peace drift further and further away, as I express in the last stanza.  We do, however, somehow have to keep hope alive.  We must continue to imagine……...

Sherry: Yes, against all odds, we must. It is only through our desire and demand for a peaceful world, that it can ever happen. 

Now let's look at Loredana's poem, which was also inspired by the tragic events in Paris. Loredana writes at Blogging Away.  Her poem also reads like a song,  bringing light to our spirits, which may be hanging a little heavy in such times as these. 







let peace
illuminate
the city of lights

let peace
illuminate the world

today, we pray
we grieve
but do not fear

let hope
prevail
despite despair

fall in love again
under a starlit sky

in the city of lights
its people healed
their hearts renewed

let love
surround them
like a beacon of light

today, we pray
we are Paris

~ ~ ~


Sherry: This is very moving, Loredana, as was the response of people around the world, unity in response to terror. "We grieve, but do not fear" and "we are Paris" - so powerful. As is the encouragement to "fall in love again", as life goes on. Tell us about this poem, Loredana.

LoredanaThank you, Sherry. I'm deeply honored and humbled that you're featuring my peace poem. The poem came to be the night I heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris. I was so saddened by the awful news, and it immediately brought back memories of 9/11. I work in New York City and I feel that by the grace of God, I was spared, as I was not in the office on that fateful day. I thought about the innocent victims, their families, the emotional pain, the devastating loss of loved ones. All I could do was pray, and the poem came to me in the form of a prayer. Paris is known as the city of lights, and while they turned off the lights on the Eiffel Tower, many famous sights around the world turned them on in solidarity. Even the Empire State Building was lit up in red, white and blue. 

And the beautiful light emanating from the stained glass windows in my own Church was inspiring. So light became a metaphor for enlightenment, solidarity, spirituality. And I wanted to send a message of love and light and peace to Paris, to the world, in my own humble way, with my own little poem that came straight from my heart. Wishing all my poet friends at Poets United a peaceful and blessed Holiday Season!


Sherry: What a beautiful story, Loredana. And how close to home the attack in Paris must have felt, as you were closely connected to the events of 9/11. I, too, was moved by all of the red, white and blue lights, lit in solidarity. Thank you for this beautiful prayer.   

I was struck by Anjum's passionate prayer for peace, at her blog, Poetic Oceans. It is a strong, stirring plea for a peaceful world. Let's take a look.







Be it Paris  NY  Beirut Peshawar or Islamabad
or any other town village or city in the world

when people can walk talk eat or drive with ease 
beauty rests stays prevails, but only with peace

Just like I see you green, manifesting majesty
at the foot of Margalla Hills, so others see, that

are home to them, nations of the world who
live, breathe, and fly freedom flags unfurled

let all be within their own beloved land
green colorful peaceful and grand

Oh My City Dear, send full peace everywhere
we all live on one Earth, planet created
for us all, let us not be oblivious nor close 
our eyes, time flies, life dies, 
save All,
forgive All
Truth will triumph not Lies
Come peace peace peace for All

Spread strong covers 
let Light shine bright, tranquility descend
remove all dislike, drench all anger 
drown all hate,
Let Goodwill stand tall.


Sherry: A cry straight from the heart for peace. Beautifully done! Anjum, what was going through your mind as you wrote this poem?

Anjum: Thank you very much for selecting my Peace Poem. I feel honored and am deeply grateful to You and All at Poets United for your profound encouragement and support.

For quite some time, my heart has been heavy and the spirit laden, though life  is blessed with comfort  at home. Yet when I see deception,injustice,depression,poverty and inequality in my nation, I am grieved to the soul. I realized that all this has increased all over the world also. 

Added to this is the killing of innocent people, dying for no fault of their own, for no purpose and for no crime. When more than 100 children were killed in a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, the grieving heart could not bear anymore. What can I do to lessen this evil killing? what effort can I make for tolerance and peace? While I was still thinking,more innocents were killed, more blood spilled, more mass graves dug...my native land, Kashmir, is bleeding, bleeding for peace...If I cannot leave the house, the least I can and should do is to give a Voice to my Pen and be brave enough to Call Out Loud for Peace. 

And then came Divine Guidance. Words came and this poem was formed with a Call for Peace to All Humanity living on the same planet Earth. And above All,  Poets United is the Sacred Gateway  that leads us ahead and helps to manifest the best that is written. Thank you Poets United.

Sherry: Wow. Thank you, Anjum, for caring so much, for finding these strong and beautiful words, and for your kind message to Poets United. I know that Kashmir is described as a 'Heaven on earth' for its beauty. Your heartbreaking phrase "bleeding for peace" stirs my soul. So many places in the world now lie bleeding, even though most of the citizens of earth long for  peace. We must remember - and insist - that Peace is Possible. If humans can make war, they can make peace.

It is good to contemplate peace, at a time when the world has never needed it more. I love Anjum's question, "What can I do?" Our words, prayers and energy, added to those across the world, hopefully will help turn the tide towards peace on earth that most humans want so much. One can only hope. 

Thank you, Mary, Loredana and Anjum, for adding your voices to the cry for peace.

Next Monday will feature our announcement of a winter break at Poets United, with best wishes to all citizens on earth, in whatever events they may or may not be observing. In the New Year, do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you! 


29 comments:

  1. What a wonderful way to end the year - always cheering to be left with light and hope..and it shines here in the poems and the poets featured...thank you also to Sherry for all your hard work interviewing...let's hope next year is bright, peaceful and full of poems

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    1. Yes, indeed, Sherry has done a wonderful job with her interviews and features this year!

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    2. Thank you, Jae Rose! Happy Holidays to you! :)

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  2. Thank you Sherry for featuring these three very touching poems this week.. each poem is a heartfelt cry for love and peace in world. The attacks on Paris were horrible and left us in a lot of pain.

    Mary, your poem really speaks to me on a personal level; to imagine a world without war and everyone living in peace and harmony. Hope and pray for such a time to come. Amen

    Loredana, I love the message in your poem of letting hope prevail despite despair. In times like these when one feels like there is no hope; your poem shines through like a beacon.

    Anjum, I m so glad you wrote this poem as I feel that its very important for everyone to know that we also feel their pain and are on the side of peace. Powerfully expressed!

    I m really going to miss everyone over winter break.. hope the holidays are full of peace and happiness :)

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. Hope your holiday is filled with peace and happiness too, Sanaa!

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    2. Sanaa, thank you for your sweet comments as always! Happy Holidays! :)

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  3. Thank you, Sherry, for coming up with the idea of peace for this time of year when I once again think of 'peace on earth, good will toward men.' Thank you for featuring me along with Loredana and Anjun. Yes, Loredana, we do need to hope that hope will always prevail...even at times there is so much darkness in the world. And Anjun, indeed, we all live on one earth...and how very sad about the 100 children in Pakistan. They are all of our children, children of OUR earth, and sometimes I think the earth must weep over what its children do to one another.

    I wish each of you the peace of the season!

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    1. Thank you, Mary! Yes, we need to continue to imagine and stay hopeful. Happy Holidays to you! :)

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  4. Thank you Sherry for featuring these uplifting poems. We need peace if our world is to survive many generations from now. Thank you Mary, Loredana and Anjum for writing poetry filled with hope. May hearts find a way to live in harmony.

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    1. Yes, harmony is what we need! Thank you, Truedessa and Happy Holidays to you, too :)

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  5. It is always a good time to think about peace, but especially at this time of year when so many of us offer gifts to one another. Truly, these poems are a gift of hope and light, to all who read it. It has been my pleasure this year to feature so many remarkable poets, and I look forward to continuing to do so in 2016. We just might start the year off with more poems about peace. Smiles! Happy Holidays, everyone!!!!!!

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    1. Sherry, thank you, you did a fabulous job with these features throughout the year! Happy Holidays to you, too! :)

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    2. Ah, Sherry, that would be a good way to begin the new year! Smiles.

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  6. I love Poets United and it's my favorite site to read and share poetry! Thank you to all Poets United staff for all the hard work this year to keep running it smoothly. It is a safe, friendly and supporting community!

    I enjoyed the peace poems and inspiring messages immensely. I believe we can make a difference and promote peace through writing and sharing.

    Happy Holidays to all my wonderful and talented poet friends here! I'm on a blogging break for the holidays, but look forward to returning in January!

    Peace, love, light. Smiles :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful thoughts, Loredana. We're so happy you have hung in there with us for so long. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  7. Mary, Loredana and Anjum, thank you for sharing your words of peace. If only... but it is a start, now if only peace could be a pandemic.

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    1. Well, people are coming together over climate change, maybe peace will be next!

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    2. Yes, if only........ we have to keep the hope alive.

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  8. Very good choices, Sherry! This is a very timely choice as it seems all continents experience acute violence in some way or other. In the midst of darkness, it is comforting and reassuring to hear the voice of poets writing for peace.

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    1. It is, isnt it, Gabriella? It kindles hope in one's heart, knowing so many feel the same way.

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  9. Such healing note could only come from the pen of the poets...let every heart be lit with the light of hope and love...beautiful selection Sherry as always...

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  10. Oh Sherry you could not have picked a more appropriate topic this time of year with the holidays and solstice upon us...and coupled with the recent tragic events in the world.....I think we feel these tragedies and atrocities more strongly as poets. Our hearts and souls bleed and the words they bring forth to the paper tell of the world's heartbreak.

    These three poems are amazing how they speak such heartfelt truth...all 3 prayers for the world I loved reading again and again....yes just imagine that beacon of light and peace reaching us so we have Goodwill! Thank you Mary, Loredana and Anjum for bringing your beautiful words to the world!

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  11. Thank you so much Sherry for selecting such expressive, heartfelt poems. All three are unique, yet woven from the same thread of love, of yearning for peace. They are the prayers that our hearts hold now in these conflicting times. I don't know how to pray any harder, but it's nice to know that my own hope is felt by many, perhaps by most. May we all know peace on earth.

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  12. Dear Respected Sherry, am deeply grateful for your amazing gracious and timely Peace poem Feature. Profound Thanks to Poets United Poets Mary and Loredana for their thoughtful truthful and sincere expressions ...all are hopeful for a better world ..Peace will come...Insha allah...Thank you All my friends who have shared their thoughts and good wishes.Thank you.May Peace Be with all...amen

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    1. Peace to you and your beloved country, as well, Anjum. Keep writing your wonderful poems - they inspire.

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  13. Sadly hatred and bitterness is stoked on the daily hearth of humanity. How sad for our world that we seek unrest rather than peace, hate rather than love. Poignant and thoughtful is each poem - thankful for the beauty of this community of poets.

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  14. Thanks to all of you who have commented & appreciated each of our poems of peace. May it be possible in our lifetimes.

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  15. Amen, Amen. Thank you all for setting the mood of this year's end and another beginning in peace.

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  16. "May they blow through your heart like the winter wind, leaving everything fresh and new."

    Indeed!!

    Thank you, to each of you, for these poems of peace. They're just what we all need.

    Thank you, Sherry for bringing these hand picked beauties!

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