Poetry Friday: International Peace Day

Today is Peace Day.  It’s also a day of  Global Ceasefire.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the fighting stopped for this one day.  It’s certainly something to aim for, and beyond.

This week with my Cub Scout Pack in Kirkbymoorside, UK, we thought about Peace and what a global ceasefire might mean.  We made peace cranes, thanks to Stone Bridge Press’ wonderful A Thousand Cranes: Origami Projects for Peace and Happiness (2011), adapted from a book by Florence Temko (1921-2009); and then we held a short vigil by candle-light (one of our Challenges in our Diamond Jubilee Challenge was silence: hard but ultimately rewarding).

We shared Lao Tzu’s wise poem from 2,500 years ago:

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

It is one of the prayers in the beautifully presented Let There be Peace: Prayers from Around the World, selected by Jeremy Brooks, illustrated by Jude Daly (Frances Lincoln, 2009).

People around the world will be pausing for a moment’s silence today at midday local time.  Let’s hope the guns stop firing too.

This week’s Poetry Friday host Renée LaTulippe has a bowl of Poetry Candy over at No Water River, so head on over…


12 Responses to “Poetry Friday: International Peace Day”

  1. Laura Shovan Says:

    Hi, Marjorie. This poem has such a simple, profound conclusion — something we can all aspire to. When I was in NJ a few years ago, I learned about a woman nicknamed Peace Pilgrim, who walked across the US with peace in her heart. Thanks for the reminder to do some research on her!

  2. Myra from GatheringBooks Says:

    Hi Marjorie, I love books like these that have such powerful potential to heal wounds through words. Peace – so elusive, isn’t it?

  3. Robyn Hood Black Says:

    It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?…. Thanks for this timely post and beautiful words. And those lucky scouts with you to help cultivate peace in THEIR hearts! Good for them and for the whole world.

  4. Marjorie Says:

    Thank you, All –

    Laura, the Peace Pilgrim sounds amazing. It’s always deeply humbling when you hear about people like that. If you find out about her, I’d like to know more too.

    Myra, yes, you are so right – and I especially love books, like this one, that bring together such words from many ages and cultures.

    Robyn – yes – while I was writing the post, I kept getting in such a tangle with my words that it was better to say very little, in fact, and just let Lao Tzu’s wise eloquence do the talking…

  5. Joyce Ray Says:

    Marjorie, this beautiful poem does remind us to “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Thanks for sharing and for your efforts to spread peace by educating young people.

  6. Tabatha Says:

    Thank you for sharing your Cub Scout work and this book! Both are inspiring :-) Your silence and candle-light reminded me of the Labyrinth walk my family did last year for New Year’s — it was something we want to do again. That might be nice for your pack, too, if a labyrinth is nearby. (The one we went to was a temporary indoor one.) I’m off to the book store to find Let There Be Peace!

  7. Marjorie Says:

    Thank you, Tabatha – and I’m sure you’ll love the book. And a Labyrinth walk sounds a great idea. I think there’s a corn maze near us in the summer, which I still haven’t managed to get to… I think I’d need a ball of string with me, though :-)

  8. Online Library chennai Says:

    Hi Marjorie
    This is an evergreen poem to spread peace in the world. Thanks for the sound of peace and I loved the entire team of the cub Scout.

  9. Marjorie Says:

    Thank you for your lovely comment.

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  12. richard Says:

    Great poem about the peace. Poem is really nice. Thanks for sharing.