Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Path of Peace

Kobani in Northern Syria
photo credit: photojournalist Jake Simkin, 
NBC News

The path to peace is strewn with rubble,
kettle boil and cauldron bubble.
I shall not hate, is what he cried
the day bombs fell and his daughters died.

If he can walk the path of peace
when all his world was turned to tears,
I can do no less than he,
to try to shift our spirits free.

The bombs rain down.
The stone walls tremble.

Edges blur, boundaries dissemble.
Suffering brings us to our knees,
heaven indifferent to our pleas.

Prayers and cries rise to the heavens,
who cannot arbitrate our screams.
Angels turn sadly away:
"They created a nightmare of their dreams."

Humans long for peace
as the parched earth burns.
Serene, the pale blue cosmos turns.

Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif , over at Poets United, is to do with bombs, days of infamy, turning points. My thoughts have run the gamut: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis. But also that turning point, the day the Berlin Wall came down, which I did not think would happen in my lifetime. Which shows that it is possible for a peoples' desire for justice and freedom - for peace -  to change those in power.

President Obama said, in 2013 in Berlin, "No wall can stand against the yearning for justice, the yearnings for freedom, the yearnings for peace that burns in the human heart."

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, author of the book I Shall Not Hate, was the first Palestinian doctor to receive a staff position at an Israeli hospital, where he treated both Israeli and Palestinian patients. When three of his daughters were killed by Israeli tank fire in their home in Gaza, he vowed "I Shall Not Hate". He continued his humanitarian work on both sides of the border. This is the greatness of the human spirit. The same humanity that breeds hatred, extremism and sectarian violence is capable of transcending circumstance and ideology to inhabit higher ground.


  1. I was in tears by your second stanza. You have pried the top off the can to raise nurture to everyone:
    "I can do no less than he,
    to try to shift our spirits free."
    I love the whisper of Shakespeare's witches, the rhyme and enchantment of the whole. Ms. Sherry, this poem is spare enough to hook my own feelings in as the angels turn away and earth burns and cosmos turns. Bless you and thank you.

  2. The words and the background notes are very moving Sherry ~ Good to see love and peace also abounds and flourish beside hate and war ~ I believe in the goodness of man, like the good doctor has shown us ~

  3. If the human spirit does not join together to stand against the terrors that reign man will be enslaved in darkness.
    Powerful piece for the days...

  4. Wow . . . (trembling). Incredible writing, Sherry. I was so blown away by it, I said to my husband: You gotta hear this (I rarely interrupt his reading to recite a poem) and, he too, was very moved by the piece. You are such a talented poet.

  5. Ditto what everyone said, Sherry. This is an amazing poem, moving and inspiring.
    Love, K

  6. Sadly business and manufacturing, greed, prejudice and profit do not have the same desire. These are the real enemy.

  7. What an inspirational message this is, Sherry. It is amazing that he does not hate after his daughters were killed.....

  8. Sherry, this is so incredibly moving. I fight anger at what has been done to my girls and I still have them. What a beautiful heart that can love among such agony.

  9. hard to overcome that hate...especially when a child is taken from you...and especially from something as impersonal as a bomb....really a tightly woven piece sherry

  10. Wonderful poem Sherry. Thank you for the intro to Dr Abuelaish. What a truly remarkable human being . Canada is lucky to have him as a citizen. .
    It makes one feel very humbled. His website is an interesting read to empower women of any religious denomination in the middles east by
    educating them and offering scholarships.

  11. "Humans long for peace.."...without compassion and peace, humanity cannot survive. Hope we understand, war is a necessary evil..
    Brilliant poem, Sherry!

  12. A powerful and very true piece, Sherry. I think it it is much easier to hate, especially when senseless war devastates your life, and how few are able to rise above that. But hate is always a destroyer, not a healer. This reminds me of that MLK quote, "I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.' I also want to thank you again for all the love and care you yourself show the world, no matter how difficult things may be. I appreciate that grace very much.

  13. This post is so meaningful Sherry. Your words are soothing and bring light to darkness. Thank you for your poem, thank you for your prose and thank you too for being one of those hate/free people.

  14. Wonderful poem. It is amazing when a human who has endured so much pain from others can resolve to forgive and maintain peace. It is difficult but possible.

  15. i def. agree on what you said about the berlin wall...that the longing for peace and justice is stronger than war and death and destruction... we just have to be brave enough to walk that path

  16. Sherry,

    You have captured the human side of this sad and ongoing event..The hopelessness is beyond comprehension..The world get on with living, while the rest are dying...A solution seems beyond desire...
    Powerful words and thoughts Sherry..


  17. There is nothing worse and less efficient than hate.. loving should not be needed.. but hate can only grow like a poison in our veins... Love this.


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!