Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem

There is no going back. We consent to our own destruction, with the passing of time, with the changing seasons, with the restless intensity of living and breathing. Above the cold concrete and glass of the city skyline, sharp-wedged forms of birds wheel and tip in the dark, blustering sky. I find myself thinking again that it takes an awful lot of courage to live in this world sometimes, knowing that winter is coming, the dark is coming, and death, too, will eventually arrive to claim us. It takes courage to release ourselves, to enter willingly into the wild dance that whirls in this liminal space between life and death, creation and destruction. In my mind, the image of birds crashing through wind currents and swift-driven clouds commingles with the image of the warrior, poised in grace on the edge of chaos. The face of that warrior is not violence, but fearlessness. And the culmination of fearlessness, the height of its realization, is peace.

Five A.M. in the Pinewoods
by Mary Oliver

I'd seen
their hoofprints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
one of them— I swear it!—

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone,

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

November 5, 2009

The Peace Globe Gallery


  1. Thank you for participating in the BlogBlast For Peace!

    What a wonderful Globe and the words in the poem are so touching


  2. This was a beautiful post! Thank you for that!

  3. How very beautiful.

    Fearlessness... it does take courage to live, to strive towards Peace.

  4. Greetings Ali! I absolutely love your blog and enjoy visiting when I have the chance. I have a little something for you at

    Enjoy and keep up the wonderful work!

  5. Fantastic poem. Outstanding.

    And I like your view of the warrior as fearless instead of violent. Like that very much.

    Peace to you, Ali.

  6. Interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing these thoughts on Blog Blast Day.

    Peace to you and yours.

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments! Peace to all of you, as well. :)

  8. What a beautiful poem... makes me half-remember dreams I had that just leave a feeling of knowing on a different level of experience...

    Love and light from Heike

  9. Is this poem your original work? It's lovely!

    Your peace globe now resides in the official peace globe gallery as #1620. Thank you so much for participating. I am just now getting around to visiting everyone.

    Peace and love,