PEACE

I wrote this six days after the the attacks of September 2001. I have shown it to some but only when I could be certain that I wouldn’t be labeled a traitor or coward or simply deranged. I don’t care as much any longer what others think of my beliefs. I know in my heart of hearts that they are genuine and that they deserve further distribution.
I know revenge; I’ve lived it and it has never worked. It has only served to scar my soul and take me further from who I am.

September 17, 2001

PEACE

I imagine that millions of years ago one of our ancestors picked up a stone and threw it in anger at another. This was long before Afghan, Irish or Chinese physical traits had developed but anger had. Apparently the other man picked up a stone, maybe a larger one, and returned the throw. Since that time not much has changed in the basics of war. Retaliation has, since then, been the order of the day and the results have always been the same, retaliation followed by reretaliation followed by……

Six days ago the results of this behavior, fueled by unimaginable hate, escalated as three passenger airliners were hijacked and intentionally flown into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia. These acts left me in a state of bewilderment the likes of which I have never before experienced. I don’t want revenge. I want it to stop. I believe we have to find a non-military solution. We must learn to use love as we have used stones and bombs. We must admit that the stones and bombs have never accomplished what we claim they have and they never will.

I would welcome an army of weaponless people whose mission it would be to seek out the hate mongers of the world and love them back to life. Many would die in this effort as the fear of the haters would initially be multiplied but those deaths would serve to further the cause of real peace. Evil has never triumphed over evil. War has never ended war. Only love can overwhelm evil and only love can create the kind of courage required in this terrible, hopeful time.

I have always been afraid of violence, afraid to perform it as well as afraid to have it done to me. As a result I have often labeled myself a coward. I have been wrong in applying that label. I think I have simply known that violence is wrong and have lived in a violent time and have been afraid to declare what I know. I have actually been afraid to know that which I know to be wrong. I am still afraid to declare what I believe but my truth is slowly smothering the fear. “Love is all there is” has become a cliché and has never been taken seriously by people like me. I know now that where there is not love there is fear and where there is fear there is attendant anger and rage.

I cannot imagine violence ending violence but I can imagine love ending hate and violence. I can imagine a Garden of Eden where love prevails. I wait for the opportunity to do more but as I wait I will try to follow the advice of Gandhi who asked us to “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Posted September 11, 2007

2 Comments

I wrote this last year, on the 5th anniversary of September 11:

Mind Games

I’m standing next to Joe
My friend and partner
We watch the world
As we know it
End.
We stand at attention
Across the Hudson
Like the landmark twins
Straight and tall
We watch
One burn
Another sliced in two
Powerful angry bird in flight.

I’m standing with Susan
Howling
Hysterical
Watching through a window
River and eternity
Between their outstretched hands
Her love
Her life
Returned to dust.

I’m standing
People with freedom of choice
Choose jump
Fall to their Death
Rather than wait
Burn
In the high rise pyre.

I’m standing with Helene
Her husband Bob has
Come to take her home
He fled the scene
Crouching crawling through
Black smoke and fallen debris.
Standing in Jersey City
Lone survivor of Pompeii’s ash
Hair suit chalky grey
Face ashen
Ears full of rubble


Escapee from a hell
Many cannot imagine
Many more did not
Live to tell.

Paralyzed,
We who did not die
Could do nothing
Had we been there
We could have helped
Could have saved someone.
Guilty,
For having not died
For being so helpless
We can only
Grieve.

I’m kneeling
Five years later
Thousands more dead
Thousands more to die
A prayer for
Peace
On my lips
These images
Etched in my mind.

I often think of “IMAGINE”. No one speaks of Peace as a way to solve the monumental problems, so I
IMAGINE.

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