Friday, December 10, 2010

Poetry Friday: The battle that did not happen

Earlier this week, I wrote this poem, Fire, about the rioting in Haiti. But today, I want to post something more hopeful. I shared this back in January of 2008 during the post-election violence in Kenya. What I wished then for Kenya I wish now for Haiti: peace, peace that lasts so long that nobody remembers any other kind of life.


William Stafford

This is the field where the battle did not happen,
where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands,
where no monument stands,
and the only heroic thing is the sky.

Birds fly here without any sound,
unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed – or were killed – on this ground
hallowed by the neglect of an air so tame
that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

That is so sweet. A little quiet empty loveliness in the middle of all this. I especially love the image of the birds. Thank you!

Tara said...

This is haunting...I love the motif of grass joining hands, and that last line was beautiful.

Mary Lee said...

Mr. Stafford says so much with so few words.

May there be more and more places in the world that are hallowed be being as nature made them and not as a place where man made a mess of things.

Carlie said...

How hopeful and refreshing. Good pick. Have been doubly encouraged via Poetry Friday to check out Mr. Stafford. Will go right to Google now.

Amy L V said...

Let us all honor such places... Thank you for this poem, this hope. I wish for peace and health for you and your community.

laurasalas said...

Oh, the grass holding hands and the heroic sky. Thank you for this one, Ruth.