Peace on Earth

As long as we are at war within ourselves,

How can there be peace on Earth?

As long as we are driven by desires and fears,

How can there be peace on Earth?

As long as we are seduced by the trappings of fame and gain,

How can there be peace on Earth?

As long as we postpone living to pursue some imagined goal,

How can there be peace on Earth?

 

As long as we serve the future as a debt to the past,

As long as we divide ourselves into myriad tribes,

Through jealousy and pride,

We set ourselves above or below and deny the enemy inside.

 

As long as we describe our world only in terms

Of battles won and lost,

And teach our children how to blame and punish,

Without explaining the cost.

 

We will always be at war within ourselves.

There will not be peace on Earth.

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I Will Look For You

For a very dear friend who died two days ago

My dear friend, Josie.
I will look for you wherever sunshine hides itself away,
And wherever smiles and laughter play.
And I know I will find you
In every leaf and glowing fire.
In the blackest coal and the brightest flower.
In Picasso’s blue and Vincent’s yellow.
In the still life of a fruit bowl
And the sweet song of Bach’s cello.

And in the pebble I picked on the beach for you,
A stone letter from the East.
In it I see the sparkle of your eyes,
And the white light of peace.
Soon I will place it close to where you lie,
Where you can read it still.
And I will lie on the Earth and feel its drumbeat.
I will smell the soil and touch the feet,
Of all who have passed before.
And then, reaching up to the sky,
I will give thanks for the Greatest Gift
Which you enjoyed so graciously,
Until the last,
And know you are alive in me
And the world is still changing constantly,
Because of you.

Boundless love xxx

Malala

She looked her would-be killer in the eye,

And saw the ignorance

That fuelled the fear

That powered the bullet

That pierced the skull

That passed right through

That took her to the other side,

Closer to the prophet than he could ever be

No matter how many times a day he prayed.

 

She saw a split second of confusion

When something deep inside himself

Questioned his actions,

But the wheel now firmly set in motion,

Powered by its own momentum,

Could only move in one direction,

Because, for now, he was sure,

He had God on his side.

Not so, later, when the question returned to haunt him.

Could it be the same God that had enabled her to survive?

 

She came back from the other side,

With wisdom way beyond her years,

Compassion and love in her pure heart,

And the words of all the prophets on her lips.

 

But that seed of doubt planted within him,

Would begin to grow and not let go.

In its climb towards the light,

It would demand answers.

He would see that light is knowledge

And that humans cannot grow in darkness.

He could only regret and repent,

And hope for some forgiveness.

 

But she – she dwelled already in the light.

She who had met the final darkness

Was hungrier than ever for its glow,

For knowledge, love and worldly peace.

The power was all hers,

All her fears already faced,

All wounds healed in love’s embrace,

All bridges crossed, no trace of hate.

She would surely find many pearls,

She would inspire and change the world.

The Zenemy Within.

The zenemy within will not take ‘I am’ for an answer –

Much less, ‘it is’, ‘I’m busy’ or ‘it says so in a book’.

The zenemy within will not tell you what to think,

But it will tell you how to sit.

The zenemy within will tug gently at your sleeve until you listen,

And then hit you with a ‘one-hand clap’ around the earhole when you do!

The zenemy within will infuriate you.

Yet still it is your greatest friend.

And when you think, ‘Finally I’ve got it’, it will show you clearly you have not,

As it pulls you tirelessly towards the truth.

The zenemy within is not a part of you, but you are a part of it.

The zenemy within is the zenemy without,

As present when you bash your toe as when your mind turns day-glo!

The Cycle Of Abuse:

Once bitten, once tasted,

Twice bitten, it’s complicated.

Thrice bitten, a habit is formed,

Four times bitten, it becomes the norm.

Five times, it’s gone too far,

Six times, how deep the scars.

Seven times, you want to run,

Eight times, you think you’re the only one.

Nine times, it must be love,

Ten times, you pass it on.

Elements:

Earth supports and resists,

Water flows,

Air expands,

And fire transforms.

 

Sand, fashioned by the water for so long,

Begins to flow, and itself become the measure of time.

Dunes like fossilised waves, grow and shift over centuries,

And then in a single storm surge, flattened and reshaped, the hourglass emptied.

 

An infant child with no sense of time, sits in his infinite moment,

Picking up handfuls of sand, he watches the cascades again and again,

Absorbed, transfixed, in timeless wonder,

He feels the touch of bliss, and sees the universe.

 

Wind blows the falling sand, sideways across the beach,

Expanding, touching new spaces, then coming to rest.

Distant waves carry it, leaving behind patterns of ripples,

A memory of the water’s flow, remnants of a life.

 

Warmed by the sun, the beach is transformed,

Across the world and through vast swathes of time, lava flows.

And when the sun wears his mask, and darkness falls,

Still the basalt sand is blown.

 

Each life leaves its traces,

In footprints in the earth,

In the breath of the wind,

In tears of the bereaved, that flow into the ocean,

And in the heat in the bellies of flies.