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The Slim Blade

I’ve been working on meditative poems on and off for the last several years. Following is a recent one:

Along the slim blade that divides
time from timelessness,
a newborn foal rises, cross-
legged, collapses and rises again
to fall again and again until, un-
stopped by fear or thought
of failure, he pulls himself aright
by sheer belief in uprightness:

not transcendence, not some heady
levitation over wracking waters, but
stillness and movement congeal,
transfigured light vibrant as
anchored sprouts of
orange maple leaves.

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Why?

Why do we bother, when time is so short and the diurnal demands drain us and we hurt? Why should we continue to beat the drums for peace in our homes and in the streets? This is not a poem, but what follows is. I rarely rhyme, but I love sound, and think perhaps this one shows the childlike side of us that has to ask–why?

The toddler posts her query
with a milk aside. The grandma

notes her question to the priest,
bedside. The student rotates quotes

on his screen, outside. The poet
dotes on the quest the leaders have denied.

Why wait and wail and worry if a dream
takes only some crayolas and a tiny team?

Why celebrate with showers of aerial shells
’til blackbirds come crashing, silent cymbals?

Why drop a Molotov or hurl a stone across the fence
when the humans on the other side speak peace?

Why should you defend us in technological glam
when the “enemy” doesn’t even know who I am?

Why’s a decade in Afghanistan not enough?
Does fighting show we’re great, we’re tough?

Why brood on some bloody apocalypse
when the seasons of our lives become blips

on a screen, moments in the whirl
of time? How is war good for a boy or a girl?

Does it teach them to question? To read?
To learn we’re all of clay? Or just to bleed?

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The Time Is Now | Poets & Writers

Creative Writing Prompts –  The Time Is Now | Poets & Writers.

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Peace Action.Org

Peace Action.

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Nancy White’s Poetry Blog

Nancy White’s Poetry Blog.

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Why Peace?

Why Peace? This is the Powerpoint for a lecture I gave at SUNY Adirondack Community College in Queensbury, New York in March 2010. “GF” refers to Glens Falls, New York, the community where the college sits. “N.w.” refers to nuclear weapons. The Japanese art was created by hibakushas–survivors of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945; they depict the real experiences of survivors in the aftermath of the dropping of the world’s first-used nuclear weapons.

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