Posts Tagged ‘peace’

And Every Step I’ll Remember




Peace, be

the stone

in my shoe

I cannot


and cannot


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…in a time seemingly hellbent on hate? That’s what Phil Woods and I both explored through poems last week in our responses to Charlottesville. Please check out the poems today in the Colorado Independent. To read them, click news poetry. And please, if you are up for it, write a response. We need more conversations about what’s happening.


All the best,



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And there, on the to do list,

somewhere beneath “post office”

and above “pay the bills” is a single word


not yet crossed out. “Peace.”

You’ve written it in ink, as if

to offer it permanence,


an urgency that can’t be erased.

Every day, you look at it,

wondering if this is the day


that goodwill will come as easily

as changing the burned-out lightbulbs

or taking the garbage out.


You almost stop believing

you will ever cross it off.

After a while, it might seem


just like any other thing

you write on your list, then ignore—

like clean beneath the piano


or organize the garage.

But then the news will shake you,

will render your duties


small. And you’ll write it in

at the top of the list

in all caps, underlined in blue,


PEACE, not something to do,

but something to serve,

something to practice


as you move through the day,

something to inform the way

you fold the sheets, you drive


to town, you attend the meeting,

you make the call, you write

the letter, you do what must be done.

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At the Candlelight Vigil




Mommy, she says,

her face still warm in candlelight,

why did you start to cry—

and I hear not just curiosity

but the itchy vest of embarrassment.


I don’t tell her

the math of the world

is just too sad,

perhaps I cry more

because for a moment I believe

the words I tell her—

it’s going to be okay.

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One Last Thing




Let us lace our words with light—

the fragrant light we carry in our flesh.


Even the darkest words can be said

with light, can be spoken with a seam


of radiance, spoken as if the whole world

depends on us finding that inner shine


and sharing it.

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All the Way Home



Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

—Helen Keller



Three days after

I think the world

is coming apart,

in the back seat

of the car

my daughter

is improvised

by a song—

I eavesdrop

as she mumbles


to an accidental


change is



is wonderful.

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One Side




the warrior in me

traded in her weapon for seeds

still a warrior

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One morning
we will wake up
and forget to build
that wall we’ve been building,
the one between us
the one we’ve been building
for years, perhaps
out of some sense
of right and boundary,
perhaps out of habit.

One morning
we will wake up
and let our empty hands
hang empty at our sides.
Perhaps they will rise,
as empty things
sometimes do
when blown
by the wind.
Perhaps they simply
will not remember
how to grasp, how to rage.

One morning
we will wake up
and we will have
misplaced all our theories
about why and how
and who did what
to whom, we will have mislaid
all our timelines
of when and plans of what
and we will not scramble
to write the plans and theories anew.

On that morning,
not much else
will have changed.
Whatever is blooming
will still be in bloom.
Whatever is wilting
will wilt. There will be fields
to plow and trains
to load and children
to feed and work to do.
On that morning,
I hope I see you.

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I’m sorry I didn’t let you
watch a movie when we got home tonight.
And I’m sorry I didn’t let you
have a piece of gum before bed.
And I’m sorry it was too late tonight
for a story. I’m sorry.
Not sorry in a guilty way,
but sorry in that I know
how hard it is to want something
and not get it. I know what it’s like
to convince yourself that your happiness
depends on that thing, that whatever thing
that you don’t have.
All those tears. I have cried them, too.
It did not matter that I was loved,
that the bed was warm, that
my belly was full, that the sky
was a lovely shade of peach.
I did not have what I thought
I must have. It does not change
when you’re older. Oh, the whatevers
change, but the longing
is part of being alive.
Tonight I wanted you
to stop crying. I wanted it enough
it nearly made me cry.
But even more than that
I wanted something else
I can’t explain to you.
That greater wanting,
some kind of peace—
could you feel it, too, as it fell on us
like the most gentle rain,
how it fell on your anger,
my helplessness, your wanting,
my wanting—the kind of peace
that touches everything just as it is
and doesn’t change a thing
and changes everything.

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So much grace available, but how we receive it depends on what we can let go of.
—Joi Sharp

Inside the place where we are right, the rain
can never fall. Inside the place where we
are right, the leaves fall yellowed off the trees.
No breeze. No bells. No peaches. We explain.
We judge, contend, defend and claim, maintain
our certainty. And meanwhile, we don’t see
the lilacs wilting, grasses browning, bees
without their hives, lost crows, the sunset drained.

But sometimes in this shrinking cage of right
wings in a doubt. A question. Nothing’s clear.
And see how soon the crows return, a slight
of breeze, a scent of rain. I’ll meet you here,
this open place, exposed, unclosed. How light
spills in as our defenses disappear.

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