Monday, July 22, 2019

POEMS OF THE WEEK - POEMS OF PEACE

Our thoughts are on peace today, with beautiful poems written by Susan Chast, of Susan's Poetry, Sumana Roy, who blogs at Sumanar/Lekha, Gillena of Lunch Box, and Wendy Bourke, of Words and Words and Whatnot. Each poem talks about peace, what it is, and what it isn't. By the end of this feature, I hope all of our spirits are soothed and encouraged. Let's dive right in.







Peace is the horse of my daydreams
with paces smooth as silk, and speed
enough to comb wind through my hair
while still allowing me to see
the panorama passing by.

Peace is the horse everyone rides
workdays, Sabbaths and holidays,
holding the reins loose and kind
as if their moods and tempers were
the same, horse and rider as one.

Peace is the horse that takes us home
when our day ends and dark sets in.
We let them lead us to surprise
that well-known lands look bright and new
in the twilight as our day ends.


                                 
                                                                            source


Sherry: How I love this poem! Especially "Peace is the horse that takes us home." Where did this poem come from, my friend?

Susan: Where my poem came from:  I thought "How I wish for peace!"  And then I remembered the little rocking rhyme "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."  If peace were a horse and everyone could ride, so much would be possible.  I've been told horses pick up the tiniest mood changes, and that opening up to horses and not fighting them is key to having good rides.  I put that in the poem, too, with the mutual relationship between horse and rider what makes the world anew. Wouldn't that be lovely?  And, of course, you can substitute in any animal or the earth itself or even God--because acknowledging presence, having conversations, and building mutually beneficial relationships make peace possible.

Sherry: My Grandma used to quote that saying all the time. I would love to see us all riding the horse of peace. Thank you, my friend, for this beautiful poem, and image. Sumana's poem shows us the other side of peace, lurking in the shadows of man's tendency to war.






Peace lives
as the shadow of war -
where gunmen smell darkness
in every flower -
when this heart morphs
into a desert
peace comes out
as succulent
with spine -
peace is the mirage
of the green shadow,
walking with a lute in hand -
yet you are deaf -


Sherry: Peace walking with a lute in its hand, yet we are deaf. True.

Sumana: Thank you so much Sherry for selecting my Peace poem for your Monday feature. Feeling greatly honoured to be teamed with all my favourite poets.

"Peace" was written as a response to one of Susan’s Midweek Motifs.

I tried to use subtle, tender, vulnerable and resilient imagery to describe ‘peace’ in the poem. Peace is a concept beyond the reach of the belligerent and gross humans; so it will remain ever elusive to them. Tennyson wrote almost 150 years ago:

Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Yet we are seeing thousand wars and no trace of peace. Sad, isn’t it?

Sherry: Yes, it is very sad, that in all these centuries, humankind has not found a better way to live together. Sigh.

Gillena's poem points us in the direction of hope. Let's read.






The wings of the butterfly are not still
They are white, flapping in the breeze
The colour of the sky is not overcast
It is the azure of a bright sunny day

The absence of birdsong is not disturbing
It is fleeting and transient
They will be there again maybe in a second
Maybe in an hour, who knows

The quality of peace is not turmoil
It is the assembling and arranging
Of everything into  channel of hope
Of gratefulness and of satisfaction


                                   
                                                                         source 

Sherry: I love the idea that "peace is the assembling of everything into a channel of hope and gratitude". So well said, Gillena.

Gillena: ‘OF PEACE'  is one of those poems i wrote in response to a prompt. Though my approach was haiku-like in its birthing, I wrote from observation and contemplation, not knowing where my muse would take me. The poem starts with the carefree nature of a butterfly, the trust, the providence and the gift of the creator. There is a continuity of trust in verse two, even though there is a shift to design and the completed task of Creation.


We live in a world where peace is on the wish agenda of so many; yet, we are faced with war, strife, and change, disturbing us and forcing us to question our very existence and creed. So that Verse three dives in pulling out the remaining gift in the Box of Pandora, hope. Hope is really all that is left to us to claim as ours, in everything, as we strive for peace on our beautiful blue planet.

So there we have it, poem -  OF PEACE.

Sherry: I so feel those words, Gillena, that hope is all we have left. As well as activism, I suppose,  refusing to allow our leaders to destroy the world for the sake of money and power. Sigh.

Wendy recently wrote a poem that reflects such a beautiful, soulful peacefulness, I wanted to share it here as a poem of peace. Let's bask in its beautiful lines and soothe our souls a little.







Wendy Bourke photo



lavender is the colour …
of the hour ... of peace ...

somewhere …
in all the moments
of day ... or night ...
or dusk ... or dawn ...

there is a flowered confluence …
hidden amongst the heavy fronds of living …
a portal to a space ...

far ... far away ...
from the revving fatigue ...

time rests ... there ... in that place
above the pale
intents and purposes ...
the sorrow and the pain

... and floats … 
as simple as a leaf
upon a lavender sea

... and drifts ... and drifts ...
eyes closed …
it whispers from the deep
nebulous of being

… let it be ...


note: this is a poem I wrote using a method laid out by Elizabeth (in an interview she had with Sherry) in the Monday, May 27 Blog of the Week Feature, entitled: How to Write a Poem When You're Blocked. Check it out, if you haven't already. I found it very helpful.





Wendy: My poem 'the lavender hour' is one of several pieces I have written lately that harken back to  or spring from  childhood reminiscences.  So much of living – in my case, living in a very big city – seems to be getting more and more tumultuous.  Whatever the reason (or combination of reasons), I do feel a growing harmonious connection to those things from my childhood that have an indelible and tender place in memory ... be they: sight, sound, fragrance, taste or feel.  Revisiting those things (when it is possible to do so) is pleasant, calming and peaceful.  Of course, it is often not possible to physically recreate that which speaks so compellingly to us.

As I mentioned in my short story 'in the stream of consciousness', lilacs were a big feature of spring in the town where I grew up and, thus, many fond memories, centered around lilacs, return to me, particularly at this time of year.  Alas, I have not seen, or smelled, lilacs, in decades.  Lavender, on the other hand, is far more commercially available ... at least the scent of lavender, which is known for its calming properties. I very much like lavender, as well – though it is not quite as redolent as lilac. But, like everything in life, we must work with what we have.  Thankfully we have stream-of-consciousness to get us where reality won't take us ~ smiles ~

Though I no longer meditate, I do find that simply resting in a tranquil setting, several times a day, is very restorative to the spirit. Often I play light classical music or soft nature sounds in the background.  Sometimes I light incense or scented oils. Sometimes I put a fan on low to stir the air, a bit. And then I simply relax and float away to whatever envisioning I drift upon.  I find these little idylls beneficial in several ways.  They promote creativity.  Indeed, many a poem has sprung from one of these rests (as was the case with 'the lavender hour').  They foster a sense of being able to take control, at least on some level – and that, by extension, I think, contributes to a pleasanter head space (as opposed to one's state of mind, zooming pell-mell through the hours).

While we do live in very distressing times, we can at least carve out a little peace for ourselves.  It's a good place to begin finding it.  One cannot help but think of all the wonderful possibilities for our planet, if more people paused occasionally, throughout their day, in peaceful reflection. 

Sherry: Yes. I am thinking of the million children in China meditating for peace recently. Hopefully some of those vibrations wafted across the sea to North America, in all its present angst. Your poem is lovely, Wendy. We needed it!

Well, my friends? We hope you take away some hope and some peace from the sharing of these poems. Do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you!



22 comments:

  1. After watching TV and hearing some of the very un-peaceful rhetoric coming out of Washington, I dont know whether to take comfort in these thoughts of peace, or feel totally discouraged that we will ever experience it on this planet. Smiles. I am grateful for these four beautiful expressions of the best in human nature, as we contemplate some of the worst on our tv screens. Thank you, ladies, for adding light to my morning, and to this feature.

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  2. Beautiful poems of peace, ladies!

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  3. Beautiful poems, ladies. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. What a lovely post, Sherry. I am familiar with - and admire - the poetry of Susan, Sumana and Gillena, and am honoured to have my piece featured along side such compelling, beautifully rendered 'Poems of Peace'. Thank you for including me. The dream/the quest for peace can often feel beyond hope. But we cannot abandon hope and activism. We owe it to this planet that has given us so much joy. You chose a splendid thread, Sherry, with which to string together some peaceful contemplations (and perhaps breathe a few minutes of serenity into the political chaos of the day ~ smiles ~).

    I'll drop by again later. Thanks again for this, Sherry.

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  5. Thanks for your heartening words, my friend. Yes, we owe it to Mother Earth to hang onto hope - and do what we can to help her and her creatures. Thank you for your wonderful poem, in itself a meditation on peacefulness.

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  6. Peace ever lasting peace,
    craved for but elusive

    By the 4 celebrated ladies in PU and some of the most prolific. Peace a horse that moves but never reaching,always in the shadow of war, assembling it towards a channel of hope but it continues to float and drift. Thanks Sherry, Susan, Sumana, Gillena and Wendy.Great poems for sharing!

    Hank

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  7. Thank you all. Beautiful poems, well gathered here. Despite the lack of peace in parts of the world, I do believe it is good and useful to create it as best we can where we are. To share it then with others is even better.

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  8. When "gunmen smell darkness in every flower", we do need the "horse of peace" to take us through the "channel of hope" to the "lavender sea"... what a beautiful image the four poems paint together! Thank you for this lovely feature!

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  9. I feel very peaceful reading all these amazing poems

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  10. I am happy we have such uplifting poems to read. Tonight in Tofino, we had poetry and song on the village green. Two poets from New Zealand performed, along with some of our local poets. It was very cool.

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  11. Thank you so much Sherry for this wonderful feature where every word prays for peace. Don't know when this restless and hostile world with 'revving fatigue' will discover Hope to realize 'Peace is the horse that takes us home'. Reading the poems a second time is so fulfilling. Thank you all.

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    1. I love peace being the horse that takes us home. And thank you for your beautiful poem, my friend.

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  12. Such an uplifting collection of words and interviews

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  13. Wow, four inspiring poems by four wonderful poets. It struck me that these four poets lived in four different countries. Peace is something we all yearn for, and some of the poems above showed me how we can strive for that peace within - if not in our world at large. Thank you, Sherry. Thank you, Susan, Sumana, Gillena, and Wendy!

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    1. It seems the only place left to look for peace - within our own selves, and homes...........yes, a universal longing. Sigh.

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  14. Wow! I love these poems, and feel honored to be one of the number alongside favorite expressions of favorite poets! And I am surprised, as I had forgotten about the feature! I took the month of July off from poetry as well as from PU, but this feature inspires me again to write and to look for peace in all the places we can find it. And to think I've been worried that I've been finding my own silence so peaceful. Maybe that's exactly where I'll find a way to re-ignite poetic desires. Much love to all. Thank you.

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  15. LOL, sorry Susan, I thought I sent you a memo but I may have forgotten to. The line that stays with me is your "Peace is the horse that takes us home." Hope everyone saddles up, especially governmental someones.

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  16. Thank you, everyone, for stopping by and leaving such thoughtful comments. And, of course, special thanks to the staff at Poets United for all that you do to support, enliven and uplift our community of Poets.

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  17. Thank you, Susan, Sumana, Gillena and Wendy for these poems of peace. Each has a different take on the subject and i really like the approach and process on creating the poem. even a cynical person like me is hard not to be moved by the words.
    Sherry, you have done an outstanding job in curating this post. :)

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  18. Susan, I really like the idea of peace taking us home.

    Sumana, the last line of your poem tightened my chest--some truths hurt so much.

    Gillena, this might be my favorite poem by you. The first line of the last stanza sings so much truth (and wisdom).

    Wendy, I love a poem that does (and shows) what it says. The words, the presentation, the scent... perfect.

    Thank you for sharing, Sherry!

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