Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Peace On Earth

“Make peace with yourself, and both heaven and earth will make peace with you.”— Isaac of Nineveh


Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a
    bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second
    generation full of courage issue forth; let a people
    loving freedom come to growth.” — Margaret Walker 

Midweek Motif ~ Peace On Earth

Every one of us loves to cherish the faith that there is still an abundance of good in this world in spite of widespread violence almost everywhere every day.

We may not be “As Wrecked Men—deem they sight the Land—
At Centre of the Sea—”* but rather “come into the peace of wild things / who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief”**.

It’s now time to sing Peace on Earth…..


Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound
    The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth," I said;
    “For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

The Rock Cries Out To Us Today

by Maya Angelou

 A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.
Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers- 
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot...
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours- your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes,
Into your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning. 

 *Emily Dickinson
**Wendell Berry

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

      (Our next Midweek Motif will be Susan's ~ Starting Over ~
on the 9th of January ’19)


  1. Gasp! I forgot to set the time, folks. Please forgive me! It must have felt awful to find us closed before the date we said our 2 week break would start! So, now, let us have Peace on Earth--and a very good day.

  2. I love the quote you opened the prompt with, and believe those words from bald head to achy toes. For peace on earth to happen, we must find peach in ourselves... and then share.

    1. I bet peace tastes delicious with peach (and typos!), lol!

    2. Absolutely! Peach and ginger tea.

  3. Happy Wednesday Everyone! I'll catch up with you tomorrow morning :)

  4. What a lovely topic, friends. Susan, your poem actually inspired hope in me, what a gift that is, in these less than hopeful times. Thank you. I re-worked an older poem, Sumana. I hope that is all right. But I am working on a new one that is strangely hopeful, so I might post it later............

    1. I'm pretty sure that a reworked poem counts as a new poem, Sherry! :)

  5. Friends, I am off to walk a wild and windy beach, so I will be back to make the rounds - with hot chocolate - in a couple of hours. Yay!

  6. A great prompt. In one little corner of the world we are seeing hands working with all their heart to stay off the sting of war. So Peace in Earth comes through people like you and me. Much Christmas love to y'all. Im presently writing for a Ugandan publisher and getting materials into the schools there - looking for bright tomorrows. Miss the time spent with awesome poets!!!

  7. Good night, hope everyone had a good day

    much love...

  8. Oh wow! Lennon's iconic Imagine says it all! Thank you Sumana for this lovely trip down the memory lane:)

  9. Hi Susan! Who Breyer to sing of peace than Lennon, huh?


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