Monday, January 4, 2016

Perspectives on Peace ~ Three Poems

I hope you all had wonderful holidays, and are back ready to write your way brilliantly through 2016. As we saw 2015 out with  poems for peace, I thought it might be pertinent to begin this brand new year with a few more poems on the topic. Looking at peace from three different perspectives are poems by Elizabeth Crawford, of Soul's Music, Sanaa Rizvi, who writes at A Dash of Sunny, and Susie Clevenger, of Confessions of a Laundry Goddess. I hope you enjoy them. 



Have to wonder about people who insist
on giving power to voice of politicians
that constantly weave a web of fear.
Who search for threads of thinking to spin
to the masses, molesting their minds
with nightmares of only possible futures.
Who beat the jarring drums of hatred and war
until the ability to think clearly becomes
cheesy, impotent, blind to any calm reasoning.
Perhaps one can only curl oneself like a dog
in shaft of moonlight, wrap self around own
sense of truth and softly croon aubades
to the hopeful rising of a sun of peace.

Elizabeth Crawford  12/13/15

Sherry: I especially enjoy the idea of  curling oneself like a dog and wrapping ourselves around our own sense of truth. And I love the "hopeful rising of a sun of peace." How did this poem come to you, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth: I was surprised when you chose it as a "peace poem". I was using two wordle lists, and most of the 24 words seemed to want to go in only one direction. For me, the poem is a bit angsty, letting off steam at the current affairs that are all over the news. I was aware that I had used most of the words, and that "peace", "dog", "aubades", and "moonlight" were the only ones left. 


I thought of my favorite dog, Macarthur, and what a peace-loving animal he was. Gentle until he thought someone might be threatening me. He'd curl up at my feet, even when I sat outside at night to gaze at the stars and, yes, sing to him. And that's where that final verse came from.

Mac was a tri-colored collie: black, white and gold. I got him from the Humane Society when he was about six weeks old. He was my emotional support system for seven and a half years. He was diagnosed with canine lymph-node leukemia. My vet called him "The Gentleman". I have a few pics of him, but this one is my favorite. The kids next door loved to play with him, tossing a frisbee that he would catch and return to the person who threw it. Except when I was present. Then he'd only bring it back to me. So they'd come and ask if Mac could come out to play, but would I please stay in the house, lol. I still miss him, even after thirty years. Thanks so much for choosing my poem.

Sherry: The pleasure is mine, my friend. The part about Macarthur is what captured my heart. What a beautiful soul he was! We can learn much from his example. Bombarded as we are by horrific events on the news, I think our spirits want to curl up just like that wise dog, shut it all out and preserve our equilibrium. Inner peace is important, too! I love your poem! Now let's take a look at Sanaa's offering, shall we?


Dream of Peace

At night while world is fast asleep;
We give our souls their full release.
The scent of daisies and violets blue;
Rose and faded their hopeful hue.
All earthly doubt they thus remove;
Trust and mountains readily move.
Possess a heart and point to prove.
Hope won’t flicker – hope won’t cease
I dream of song – I dream of peace

Dew drops are gems of winter morn;
The calm within the snow and storm.
Oh take me back where I belong;
Love for peace just can’t be wrong.
Time to prosper – time to increase
I dream of song – I dream of peace

Sanaa Rizvi 2015

Sherry: This is very poignant, Sanaa, especially as you are young. "I dream of peace" - as all young people dream, who wish for a peaceful tomorrow, in the midst of the clamor and turmoil of today. What were your thoughts as you were writing this poem?

SanaaThank you so much, Sherry, for featuring my poem. I'm highly honored to be a part of the discussion. I wrote this poem the night when Bjorn spoke about the poem "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou during Poetics at dVerse Poets Pub. The poem left a huge impact on me as I sat down to write my poem.

While pondering upon the definition of peace, I chose to depict the time of night and early morning in the poem. Its so true isn't it? We feel the most peaceful while deep in slumber, safe and sound in our beds at night, and while waking refreshed the next morning, sipping tea while looking outside our window. 

As I pictured this scene, the refrain suddenly popped into my head and thus my poem was complete! To have peace in the world exactly the way we ourselves feel it during the time we are asleep and awakened. Now that would be sublime. Such is my definition of peace - a prayer which soon one day will be fulfilled...Amen.

Sherry: A wonderful dream, arising from those restful moments. Thank you, Sanaa. I hope your dream of peace will be realized one day. There is much around your word "awakened". Humanity needs to awaken from their slumber and set to work realizing our collective dream of peace.

Susie's poem speaks  powerfully to the issue of gun control. This may seem like a strange choice for a "peace poem",  but there can't be peace while people are shooting each other.


The Cry From Broken Glass

We’re not one bullet
closer to safe.
It doesn’t matter
how much you polish
bigotry with apple pie,
hate always leaves
a blood stain.

Peace cries from the other
side of broken glass,
“Hope will die from your apathy.”

Love is
words and arms
that lift when spirits
struggle to rise
above desperation.

©Susie Clevenger 2015

Sherry: "Hope will die from your apathy." Yes. I love the words and arms 
lifting those who "struggle to rise above desperation." So well expressed, 
Susie. Tell us about this poem, won't you?

Susie: My poem, 'The Cry from Broken Glass', comes from my agony over 
loud voices declaring a gun is the answer to violence, or, should I say, the 
sentiment, "a good guy with a gun" is the answer. I have long expressed my opposition to the mass ownership of firearms, with little or no regulations. 

I have never been to war. I didn't think I would have personal knowledge 
of one soul here in the States who has died from a bullet, but I know five, 
four from murder and one from an accidental gun discharge.

When a society decides every citizen should own a gun, how long will it be 
before chaos and anarchy will become the norm? There are fewer avenues 
to disarm words. Negotiation an discussion of differences is not on the table 
these days. 

Only love can diffuse the power of hate. I constantly search my own soul 
to root out anger that would keep me from giving love and compassion to 
my fellow human beings.

Sherry: Susie, this is an important conversation that really needs and 
deserves a much wider audience. The concept that peace can ever be 
achieved by war, or that guns ensure safety, is archaic, as we have already sufficiently proven.

Soon after the first poem, Susie posted a profound prayer for peace, 
peace from the inside out, so moving that I thought I would include it here 
as well. Contemplating peace seems a good way to greet a brand new 
Year of Possibility.

'Tis the season
of trees burning bright.
Let my words be strung
from limbs reaching
higher than the noise
baiting hate.
May Love be etched
into the silver of my tears
so it will spill into
my voice to water hope.

Susie Clevenger 2015

Sherry: It's what we do, as poets, isn't it? Using our voices, our words, 
"to water hope." Thank you, Susie, Elizabeth and Sanaa, for your poems, 
and your powerful voices, as we begin another year of writing our way 
through 2016 together.

An interesting beginning to the new year, my come back 
and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!


  1. Thank you so much Sherry for featuring my poem as part of "Past Poems of the Week." :D I really admire the poems written by Elizabeth and Susie as these are truly powerfully voiced!

    Elizabeth, I so agree with your message depicted in "Wondering Quandary" no doubt these politicians give rise to hatred and in turn spread fear amongst the others. Hopefully the time will soon come when there will be a hopeful rising of the sun of peace. (Beautiful image there)

    Susie, I love the gentle rhythmic flow of your poem "The Cry from Broken Glass." Indeed love serves as the strength of arms and gives rise to hope when our spirits struggle to emerge from the pits of desperation. (a very soothing image)

    Wishing you all a bright & prosperous year 2016 :D

    Lots of love,

    1. Thank you, Sanaa. They say that everything begins with a dream. Your poem reminded me of my evening prayers and how wonderful it would be to dream of a world singing and dreaming of peace. May it be so,


    2. Sanaa, thank you for your kind words. May we all wake from our dreams to find peace.

    3. You're most welcome Elizabeth and Susie :)

  2. What a great feature - thank you all...each voice unique but the same objective...I love the imagery in your poem Elizabeth - made me think of spiders and the way webs can sometimes be turned against what they are meant to be..and the loyalty of any pet can make the harshest world a little more tolerable - I remember set of words too! Sanaa as ever so sunny! Beautiful delicate imagery which as Sherry says reflects your youth and heart..and Susise - the apple pie polish made me smile - perfect trio!

    1. Thanks for the compliment Jae, that was so sweet of you :D Glad you liked the poems.

    2. Thank you Jae, am glad you enjoyed them. Your metaphor of the spider web is very apt. I used to suffer with nightmares. Mac slept on the floor next to my side of the bed and would gently lick my fingertips to wake me from those dreams. He saved me many times and in many ways,


    3. Thank you Jae, I am happy you found a few moments of peace through our poetry, and that I could make you smile.


  3. Hi kids, here we are looking at a brand new year of writing. I am excited! I have a To Do list that is daunting, but am determined to work harder in the months ahead to get some of it accomplished. Thank you to Elizabeth, Sanaa and Susie, for their powerful and heart-stirring poems. A great way to start off the year - you ladies have set the bar very high! Smiles.

    1. And thank you Sherry for featuring the poems here :D such a huge honor! xx

    2. Thank you, Sherry. I can only echo Sanaa and be grateful that you chose to honor our work. And before you start each day, to work on that To Do list, remember to just breathe. It helps a lot,


  4. Very moving poems - all of them. Elizabeth, I was moved by your poem and (after that) the story of your dog Mac! Waiting for the sun of peace to rise...may it happen soon. Sanaa, the idea of 'dream of song - dream of peace' resonates. The repetition works well & makes a strong point. Susie, I agree...we are not one bullet closer to safe! May the gun madness come to an end soon. Sherry....again some great choices! I enjoyed each of them. And yes, a great idea to begin the year with peace.

    1. Thank you so much Mary :) I m glad you enjoyed the poem.. in times like these we need love & peace more than ever.

    2. Mary, thank you for reading and commenting. I choose to believe that Mac shared in the spirit of that sun of peace. He made the conclusion of the poem so much easier than it might have been,


    3. Mary, thank you so much. I am so thankful to be part of words of peace.

  5. I can't tell you how happy I am to belong to a community where these three women write poems like these. Blessings to them for their prayers. Their words are full of truth and hope that stems from love. How beautiful is love, and that they write from its inspiration. Thank you to Elizabeth, Sanaa and Susie. Also, thanks to you Sherry who recognize the need to disseminate their message.

    1. Myrna, thank you. A poet's voice can be powerful. I am blessed to be included with such talented word artists.

    2. Thank you so much Myrna for your kind and loving words :)

    3. Thank you, Myrna. This is a very special community.


  6. It is my pleasure, my friends, to feature the work of our talented members.......looking forward to writing our way through another year. Yay!

  7. First of all, thank you Sherry for including my poetry with the work of two very talented poets.

    Elizabeth, you have voiced some of my own frustrations about "political" voices. Fear is a means of control, and politicians are quite accomplished in the tactic. I love the photo and story of your precious dog. Perhaps the best we can do is to curl into our own truth.

    Sanaa, your poem is beautiful and gives me hope we can know peace outside our dreams. There are too many words of war. Thank you for the comfort of your words.

    1. Thanks Susie :) so glad you liked the poem.

    2. Susie, your words about the stain of hatred touched me deeply. The fact that many of our "political" voices choose to fuel that fire is more than disturbing. Thank you for your caring and generous words,


  8. Three powerful poems on peace...truly the poets' voice is the need of the hour today..thank you Elizabeth, Sanaa and Susie for leading us with the light of peace and hope...and Sherry what perfect choice!!!

    1. Thank you Sumana for you kind words.

    2. Thanks Sumana :) so glad to be a part of this feature.

    3. Thank you, Sumana. I think that the voices of poets are the direct descendants of the ancient prophets and needed just as much now as they were then. Glad you enjoyed,


  9. Elizabeth, Sanaa, Susie... lending your voices to the plea/demand for peace so wonderfully! Thank you for you lovely words. And thanks Sherry- great choices!!

    1. Thank you so much. I feel honored to be included with such talented ladies.

    2. Thank you so much, your kind words mean a lot to me :)

    3. Thanks for your encouragement, and may our voices be joined by many others,


  10. Three lovely poets to open the year pondering peace. Wishes for a peaceful creative year for all here, and the rippling motion of peace to spread throughout planet earth

    much love...

  11. Thank you, Gillena. I couldn't agree with you more,


  12. OH!
    " ... molesting their minds
    with nightmares of only possible futures."
    and OH!
    " ... Possess a heart and point to prove."
    and again OH!
    "Peace cries from the other
    side of broken glass"
    and amazing prayer. You are all my heroes, including Sherry who discerns these connections so beautifully.

  13. It is good to begin the year with our passionate desire for peace. Thank you for each word that helps spread this longing. May they blow like seeds on the wind, and take root everywhere.

  14. Each poem puts me in a wonderful feeling of peace! Thanks so much to each of you.

  15. Three fabulous, poignant poems from three amazing poets...thank you Sherry. Perfect topic to start off the New Year!

  16. Sherry,

    Another great mix of poets and poetry with themes that touch the inner soul. It was a pleasure to read these poems and may peace manifest in the coming year.

  17. Belatedly (because I am away from home and not much on the internet at present) thanks from me too, to you all, for standing – and writing – for peace.


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