To write a peace poem

Two poems I wrote from my answers

Overlook

Athena Owl along the Alon Road, Occupied Territories / West Bank, Israel
Athena Owl along the Alon road, Occupied Territories

Along the Alon road
near where we glimpsed
an Athena owl, a widening
of the road for cars to rest
and look out holds two old
olive trees together, friends.

Maps show new divisions.
Old maps recall old boundaries.
Stone fences, barbed wire
come and go. Land mines
lay sleeping. But the olive
branches don’t see these.

Standing guard by the road,
the two see one land: valleys,
wadis, and fields from here
to the Jordan’s distant shore.

—Michael Dickel ©2013


Originally published in The Second Genesis: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry (A.R.A.W.L.II, 2014).


While at Green Gulch Farm: Imperfect Haikai

     jo
Bell rings twice;
silence breathes out.
Zendo echoes.

Bell rings once;
gentle sound speaks:
stay or go.

Bell rings;
community chants.
Silent fog waits.

Sun-burnt patches of fog.
Sound may dispel clouds;
sea waves crash.

      ha
Water separates
into droplets reflecting light,
a loved one’s parting.

Soft sand underfoot,
yielding. Waves pound
packed sand.

Broken silence
dispels glistening swimmers
from their reverie.

Shadows fall, then rain.
Cold winds howl down
                                             the valley.
Tears drop, one by one.

Storm passes,
a lone figure stands on the beach.
It is time to leave.

Mist filters evening,
strolling through snow.
Inward-rolling fog.

…a thousand
                            moments

     kyû
Unending waves, eternal stone:
sparkling sea splashes.
One moment, a thousand
                                                moments.

White-foamed waves
punctuate silence
deeper than mountain roots.

Evening mist
hides and reveals
mountain top.

Tendrils of fog
drop down.
Quail at our feet.

—Michael Dickel ©2011


Originally published in Sunrise from Blue Thunder (Pirene’s Fountain Press, 2011); this version has been lightly edited for the intended audience of this post.


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