Category Archives: Forging Ploughshares

A day of peace?

I read an article today
Incredulous about
The notion of
A day of peace—
And why not?
If, as he said,
“‘Peace’ is defined
As the absence of war,”
What is a “Day of Peace?”
War is real. It is here.
Peace is a fairy-tale.
A day of peace is
A day of pretending
To a people who find war
A moral necessity.
To call war “real”
And peace the absence
Of that reality
Is to imagine war as something,
And peace as nothing at all.
What would fill the void
In war’s absence?
“If we put down our swords,
What will become of us?
Will we not be destroyed?
What will we pick up?
What is there for our hands to do
If not to fight, to take, and to kill?
Must we not ‘defend ourselves?’”

The story begins in a garden,
Not on a battlefield.
It begins with God’s gift.
It was a battle for control,
Which stole that gift,
And murder which followed.
Many centuries later,
Millennia of conflict,
Exploitation, and strife—
Near the story’s apogee,
Is found God’s newest gift.
Late night prayer,
Sweating blood,
Sleeping friends,
Swordless preparing
To pick up a cross,
To die for his murderers,
To show us how to make peace.

Brother Stanley has said
It is war which is not real,
And peace which is.
It is war which is the void,
Greed, hate, and destruction.
It is peace the reality,
Generosity, love, and life.

What is there for our hands to do?
What will we pick up
If we put down our swords?
There is the plough.
There is the pen.
There is the hand of a child.
There are books to read.
There are hungry to feed,
Naked to clothe,
Prisoners to visit,
Sick to comfort, and
Homeless to shelter.
There are enemies to befriend.
There is peace to make.
There are ploughshares to forge.
What will we pick up
If we put down our swords?
There is the cross of Christ.

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Filed under Forging Ploughshares, Poems