Poem about Peace
Read narrative poem about peace and the definition of peace. 20 poetic definitions of peace from war, meaning of the name 'Peace Now' & how peace will come.
This narrative poem about peace is a definition of peace and an exploration of the concept of 'Peace Now.'
In the land of Israel, there is a dubious organization called Peace Now (Shalom Achshav, שלום עכשיו). That name is an interesting combination of words. If there were peace in Israel right now, what would it mean and from where would it come?
From my vantage point, to have peace now would mean that there was a war this morning. Historically, the word peace is used when a war concludes. Sometimes, even an unequivocal victory does not bring peace. Consider the term 'cold peace' used to describe the relationship between the United States and the former Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Or, look at relations between Syria and Israel these many years after Syria's attack in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
And if there were peace now, how would peace be defined, described, portrayed? What follows is one poet's answer; I regret that Kahlil Gibran's prophet did not provide one, too.
This is dedicated to the memory of that beloved poet of Lebanon, who fled from the wars in his native land in 1895, and who died before he spoke to us Of Peace.
Definition of Peace
"A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind,
and another woman shall bear me."
– from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, 1923
– by Writer Fox™
And the west sea-wind was as a woman
who bore him in the late afternoon,
when a barefoot boy saw the sails of his boat on the horizon.
And the people who remembered rushed with The Question.
But the prophet was old. The prophet was slow.
And they carried him to the Hills of Lebanon
under the shelves of a cedar's low-bending bough.
And they gathered around him, waiting for the old man
to lift his hamate head,
But the boy who found him pushed through the people and
pressed at his shoulder and said,
"Speak to us of Peace."
And the prophet opened the heavy crease
of an eyelid while the people sang
"Speak to us of Peace."
And the prophet lifted his weary
spirit to hear the responsory,
"Speak to us of Peace."
And in a low mantram, the people hummed,
Then the prophet spoke these words:
Peace is the sweet music strummed on swords.
Peace is the fruit of war.
Peace is plucked at the end of it,
a red war-fruit
a war-red fruit.
Peace jerks its head to sniff the air,
to catch a whiff of the next war.
Peace is the winning,
and Peace must be won and won again.
Peace is the puppy playing at your feet
and you want to reach
to pick it up
but you listen
to a long, low growling
from the corner curl of mama-teeth saying,
"Don't even think about it."
Peace is the woman all men court,
she's offering her easy love,
and you can have your way with her.
She won't take money for the favor.
But she's never free.
There's a man behind her with a gun,
and he wants his fee,
and he'll have his fee
if you have her
moving down her dress).
And it's one-at-a-time,
and no man
is a gentleman
when his turn has come.
A tight-squeeze at the Peace,
he won't take leave of the Peace,
"This is my Peace Now!"
Peace is the dear price
we pay when we can,
sometimes with money, sometimes blood,
sometimes money, blood-money blood
but not with this land
to plant her on.
Peace is the tax receipt
all people want to have,
but not all rulers will let them have
as they sit on the silver seat,
reading the book of wars
while the money pools at their feet.
Peace is the start of one war
what one nation has
but won't share
with its brother.
Peace is held with both hands,
like a dog grabs his food,
possessed with the possession:
"Peace – Mine! – Not Yours!"
And it snarls and snaps:
"If you dare come any closer to my Peace,
I'll rip at your face
and you'll wish to God
you never longed for the place
of my plate of Peace."
Peace hurts to have itself.
Peace wraps up itself in graves and weeps.
But Peace is glad to have itself
and knows it hurts far less than the cruel game
that people played to bring it.
Peace always remembers how it came.
Peace is the fat cow
standing in the camouflage
of the tall summer grass.
Slow to move
when the hayers pass through
leaving the field
rolled up in stacks,
no place to hide
too fat to move
when the butchers break through
concealing the meat ax
behind their backs.
Peace is the puzzle seen from the air
of fields planted in deliberate greens.
and the puzzle of Peace Now
drawn far below
the gray shadow
of the rain cloud
seeded with stones.
And the prophet turned to catch the convergence
blowing from the south into the east.
And in a low mantram, the people hummed,
Peace is the woman who saw the raised head
cocked inside the kitchen cupboard,
its body snaked into a coil,
a bomb inside the bread,
and the woman said,
Not in my kitchen you don't!"
And she takes the bone knife
and slashes and says,
"I'll cut my piece of Peace
and I'll carve my Peace Now!"
Peace is the father plotting the line
to shovel the earth-bed
of his first-born child,
the last of the line
of the memory unreconciled
of a grandfather's empty eyes.
And he swings the shovel into the skies
and digs at the clouds,
Then digs at the dirt and weeps,
"I will dig the plot deep,
I will dig the plot long,
I will dig the plot wide,
I will dig the plot strong,
And I will plant the next-born of my seed
into the ground of Peace
and I will plant that plot for Peace Now!"
Peace is the blindfold
torn from the white flag
raised by the enemy.
Peace covers its eyes
so it will not see
the dull sword
(still a sword).
I will have my Peace evermore
And I will have my Peace Now!"
And the prophet heard the churning channel
of the storm winds of the south,
and heard the past merge with the present in a clear cry.
Peace is the song in the southern sky
that caused the King of Israel to weep,
It cried the King to sleep,
the song of sorrows singing,
"For I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
Too long has my soul had its dwelling
with those who hate Peace.
I am for Peace,
but when I speak,
they are for
Peace is the woman wearing a golden dress
And she met Yarash,
And she became betrothed
to the valiant warrior
of the victory
of the circling of seven hills,
in holy patrimony.
And then the auric bride became
the woman of the merging name,
The Conquered Peace,
The Possession of Peace,
The Occupied Peace.
And in the chuppah of the white smoke
in the cloud above Mount Zion
the Father of the bride spoke
and gave His blessing to the woman
and to the one who conquered her,
glory of this house will be greater
than the former.
And in this Place
I shall give Peace."2
"Behold, I extend Peace to her
Like a river."3
But the bandit raised his head
and tore his shirt into a mask and said,
"I'll drive your river into the seas.
I'll drown your river of Peace
in the salt of the seas.
I'll throw myself into your river of Peace.
I'll bloody the waters,
stir mud with my feet.
If you dare to marry the woman named Peace,
a river of blood will run in your streets,
and I will smash the face of Peace Now!"
And the prophet saw the vision of a cloud without an end,
and heard acousma like wolves whining within the rising wind.
And a terror took hold of him and shook him back and forth,
and it swept through the cedars of Lebanon
meeting a wind of evil from the north.
But the people swayed in the continuum of the mantram hum,
And the prophet heard their humming as a swarm of bees,
swelling in crescendo within the blackening clouds,
the swarming of the storm winds blowing from the Baltic Sea,
the storm of the sons of Gomerer4 and their great hoards,
malevolent men, the men of old, the men of wars.
And he collapsed under the onus of the clouds turning to smoke,
while the young boy leaned upon his breast and stroked his brow.
Then once again, the aged prophet spoke:
Peace is the man of the memory
of canisters of Zyklon B.
Peace is the man of the memories
of bayonets brandished
with the blood of babies,
of his sister's skin stretched tight
to make a shade for a table light.
Peace is the man of the memory
of his mother's meager body
lying naked in a cache of flesh inside a vat,
boiling down to carefully extract
what little there was left of human fat
to make a bar of beauty soap
for the women bathing
in the Danzig Gulf,5
the women of the wombs of genetic aggregation,
the women well-versed in the German genre
of geneticism, the prolegomena
of the greater vision,
of the merging
with Magog to the east.6
And even then the people hummed the mantram,
And with the torrent of a shaking
like the ague of the earth quaking,
the prophet rolled his eyes into his head
and saw the specter
of the sure
and necessary apocalypse
that would bring Peace Now
to such a one as the man with the memory
of his mother's meager body
boiling down into a bar of soap
for the German genera.
And the prophet reeled with the revelation
and threw the barefoot boy away from him,
rising with the torture of the tremors of the vision
which seized him with the seizures
of certain wars.
"Open your doors,
that a fire
may feed on your cedars."7
And the cedars shook their foliage
in a whipping of the prophet's face,
and his being merged within the spirit of the vision
and it burned his blood like hydrogen
burning in a sulfur fire.
And he ignited in the torrid blaze,
in the consuming
of the age
that would have Peace Now.
And as his body burned to lime8
the young boy thrust his hands
into the blaze
and pulled the prophet's sandals,
snatched like smoldering firebrands,
the last relics of the prophet,
the last artifact
of the last act
of the abject ash
of Peace Now.
And the young boy said with sorrow,
the people bowed low
at the feet of the barefoot boy
1David (King of Israel, 1000 BCE), Bible, Psalm 120: 5-7
2Bible, Haggai 2:9
3Bible, Isaiah 66:12
4Bible, Genesis 10:2, 3 and Ezekiel 38
5During WW II in Danzig, Poland, Professor Rudolf Spanner began making soap from human corpses supplied by the Nazi death camp in Stutthof. Read more about this German horror. Information can also be found at this museum site, by searching the archives for: Anatomical Institute in Wrzeszez.
6When the Austria-Hungary/Germany alliance declared war in the summer of 1914, the resulting conflict became known as World War I. The war killed over 35 million people. In the spring of 1938, Hitler led Germany into Austria, beginning World War II, which ended with a death count of over 60 million people. Fifty years ago, a wall was erected that divided, crippled, and contained Germany's power and ambition. The wall was torn down and the two sides of Germany were reunified on October 3, 1990.
7Bible, Zechariah 11:1.
8Bible, Isaiah 33: 9-12
On June 28, 2013, The Jerusalem Post reported that there are now 80,000 Hezbollah rockets pointed at Israel from Shi’ite villages in southern Lebanon.
Peace Now was originally published in the Journal of New Jersey Poets, College of Morris, a recipient of the Excellence in Print Award from the U. S. Library of Congress.
Jerusalem Peace - Dove with Olive Branch
Peace from Jerusalem
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
'May they prosper who love you.
May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces."
– Bible, Psalm 122: 6, 7 (circa 1,000 BCE)
Jerusalem - City of Peace
Dove of Peace
The dove in flight carrying an olive branch is the ancient symbol of peace and represents man's peace with God after the global flood left only eight survivors.
All cultures and tribes have a memory of the world flood. The oldest record in an extant language is found in the Biblical book of Genesis.
"Then God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And God was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence."
– Bible, Genesis 6
After the destruction, the family of Noah aboard the ark sent a dove out of a window.
"The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth."
– Bible, Genesis 8:11
You may order the Dove of Peace print, framed or unframed. It is the gift of peace.
This print, Safie One of the Three Ladies of Baghdad by William Clarke Wontner, is available in seven sizes – framed print or stretched canvas.
The painter was part of the neo-classical movement in Britian and he is known for painting "seductively languorous women" with "an air of Orientalism."
His use of color is extraordinary, mixing pastels with vibrant contrast.
Even today, this is what the typical home entrance and doorway looks like in the Old City of Jerusalem and in many other ancient cities in the Middle East.
Read more poetry written by Writer Fox™ in these collections:
Poetry about Jerusalem, from ancient to modern, including song lyrics:
Read war poems and poems written by soldiers. Many poems about Israel's wars are included in this collection:
Read Pulitzer-Prize-winning poems about divorce:
Find over 50 poems about the winter season with photos:
Read more than 60 best spring poems and spring poems for kids in this illustrated, online collection:
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Connect with Writer Fox™ on Google+.
Share - Don't Copy.
The quote from Kahlil Gibran was used with written permission from Knopf Publishers.
Photographs of 'Brechat Ram' and 'Storm Clouds over the Golan Heights' are courtesy of Pavel Bernshtam.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on March 05, 2017:
Thank you for your comment, Skellie.
Peace to you.
Skellie from Adelaide on December 23, 2016:
Very intense poem but good.
It is a shame that war, blood and destruction is continually associated with peace.
Peace can never be achieved this way (through war), it will never really be peaceful.
Someone will always hold a grudge that will be put into action at a moments notice.
You are a great writer and this is a very well thought out hub. :)
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on July 09, 2015:
I'm not sure my comment went through because when I hit post comment I was redirect to log back in to HP. Excellent piece Writer Fox.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on October 18, 2014:
Thank you Shyron, Kevin, Phyllis and Mary. This poem doesn't get noticed much by writers on this website, but it did get a lot of attention when it was first published in America. Sadly, the situation in Lebanon has grown much worse since I wrote this and ISIS will soon have access to nuclear bombs.
I appreciate your comments, votes and shares.
Mary Craig from New York on October 18, 2014:
Amazing! Folklore in the making. "Peace is the man of the memory" We should all pray lest we forget that man!
This was an inspiration Writer Fox and certainly one to be remembered through the ages.
Voted all but funny.
Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on October 17, 2014:
A masterful job. Just stunning. The pictures are so perfectly matched to the words.
Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on October 17, 2014:
This is a powerful, Earth shaking, heartfelt poem. Incredible, Fox. Incredible.
The Examiner-1 on October 17, 2014:
Will there ever be peace? What is real peace? Voted up, shared and pinned.
Shyron E Shenko from Texas on October 17, 2014:
Fantastic, Writer Fox, I really enjoyed this work.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 09, 2014:
Thank you Lorelei. I'm glad you read this poem and I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment.
Lorelei Cohen on September 09, 2014:
Beautiful and thank you for all your assistance.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on January 09, 2014:
Thank you, Ziyena. Yes, this poem was published in the Journal of New Jersey Poets. All of my poems have been published in literary magazines.
ziyena from the Somewhere Out There on January 09, 2014:
Only you have the greatest way of telling.
If you haven't, you should publish.
I would follow. Composed beautifully ...
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on December 31, 2013:
I appreciate your comment so much, AlicaC. Peace seems to be the unobtainable challenge of civilization.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 30, 2013:
This is very powerful and thought provoking poetry, Writer Fox. I will be returning to this hub many times to read the poems again and to think about them. There are so many ideas in the poems to ponder and appreciate! I'll share this hub.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on November 29, 2013:
Thank you, Faith. My magic pencils always produce surprises, even to me sometimes. This poem about peace is unusual in that it takes a turn you did not expect.
Faith Reaper from southern USA on November 14, 2013:
Incredible poetry here. Really enjoyed it. You are truly a gifted poet. And I thought the whole time you were more about SEO and such, so this is a delightful surprise.
Up and more and sharing
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on November 14, 2013:
Thank you, Jan. It means a lot to have such nice complements from another poet. Appreciate it!
Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on November 14, 2013:
This was quite something to read, Writer Fox. I was riveted by the many definitions of peace that contradict what we think of as "peaceful." I do recall researching the word for my hub on finding peace and was intrigued by the association with war. Most people don't think about peace in that manner. I am a fan of Kahlil Gibran and loved that you cited him in this piece. Your writing is powerfully graphic and thought-provoking. Voted up, beautiful, and interesting.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on November 02, 2013:
I'm glad you found this poem, Marlene, and I really do appreciate you comments here.
Marlene Bertrand from USA on November 02, 2013:
Beautiful poem. The accompanying photos are wonderful. I never thought about peace as something that follows turmoil. Before reading your poem I just looked at peace as peace, but never considered peace as moment that is the result of an ended war. Very enlightening.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 07, 2013:
Thank you, DDE for your comments on this poem about peace.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 04, 2013:
Awesome, interesting, and photos are beautiful with this hub title. You have shared a meaningful hub with such good poetry
Rayne123 on September 01, 2013:
Ok thank you
All the best
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on September 01, 2013:
Thank you for your comments on this poem about peace, Laurie.
The dove picture is copyright by AllPosters and can only be used by affiliates, and in accordance with the Terms of Service. It's an amazing picture of Peace!
Rayne123 on September 01, 2013:
Your style of writing is unique and very interesting.
Great write and pictures.
Unique is good, very good
I love the dove picture, may I save it to my pictures?
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on August 17, 2013:
Thank you so much. Your comments on my poetry mean a lot to me.
Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on August 17, 2013:
Quite incredible even on a second read through. Wonderful pictures. Sharing. Thersa