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POEM ABOUT PEACE | Definition of Peace

Updated on January 13, 2014
Peace Now
Peace Now

Poem about Peace

Read narrative poem about peace and the definition of peace. 20 poetic definitions of peace from war, meaning of the name 'Peace Now' & how peace will come.

_____________________________

This narrative poem about peace is a definition of peace and an exploration of the concept of 'Peace Now.'

In the land of Israel, there is a dubious organization called Peace Now (Shalom Achshav, שלום עכשיו). That name is an interesting combination of words. If there were peace in Israel right now, what would it mean and from where would it come?

From my vantage point, to have peace now would mean that there was a war this morning. Historically, the word peace is used when a war concludes. Sometimes, even an unequivocal victory does not bring peace. Consider the term 'cold peace' used to describe the relationship between the United States and the former Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Or, look at relations between Syria and Israel these many years after Syria's attack in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

And if there were peace now, how would peace be defined, described, portrayed? What follows is one poet's answer; I regret that Kahlil Gibran's prophet did not provide one, too.

This is dedicated to the memory of that beloved poet of Lebanon, who fled from the wars in his native land in 1895, and who died before he spoke to us Of Peace.

Definition of Peace

The West Sea Wind
The West Sea Wind

"A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind,
and another woman shall bear me."
– from The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran, 1923

Peace Now

– by Writer Fox™

And the west sea-wind was as a woman

who bore him in the late afternoon,

when a barefoot boy saw the sails of his boat on the horizon.

And the people who remembered rushed with The Question.

But the prophet was old. The prophet was slow.

The Cedars of Lebanon
The Cedars of Lebanon | Source

And they carried him to the Hills of Lebanon

under the shelves of a cedar's low-bending bough.

And they gathered around him, waiting for the old man

to lift his hamate head,

But the boy who found him pushed through the people and

pressed at his shoulder and said,

"Speak to us of Peace."

And the prophet opened the heavy crease

of an eyelid while the people sang

the incantation,

"Speak to us of Peace."

And the prophet lifted his weary

spirit to hear the responsory,

"Speak to us of Peace."

And in a low mantram, the people hummed,

"Peace."

Then the prophet spoke these words:


The Prophet
The Prophet | Source

Peace is the sweet music strummed on swords.

Peace is the fruit of war.

Peace is plucked at the end of it,

a red war-fruit

a war-red fruit.

~~~


Peace jerks its head to sniff the air,

to catch a whiff of the next war.

~~~


Peace is the winning,


and Peace must be won and won again.

~~~


Mama Dog with Pups
Mama Dog with Pups | Source

Peace is the puppy playing at your feet

and you want to reach

to pick it up

but you listen

to a long, low growling

from the corner curl of mama-teeth saying,

"Don't even think about it."

~~~


"the woman all men court"
"the woman all men court" | Source

Peace is the woman all men court,

she's offering her easy love,

and you can have your way with her.

She won't take money for the favor.

But she's never free.

There's a man behind her with a gun,

and he wants his fee,

and he'll have his fee

if you have her

(yes-yes eyes

moving down her dress).

And it's one-at-a-time,

stand-in-line,

and no man

is a gentleman

when his turn has come.

A tight-squeeze at the Peace,

he won't take leave of the Peace,

"This is my Peace Now!"

~~~


Plowing on the Mount of Olives
Plowing on the Mount of Olives | Source

Peace is the dear price

we pay when we can,

sometimes with money, sometimes blood,

sometimes money, blood-money blood

but not with this land

we plan

to plant her on.

~~~


Peace is the tax receipt

all people want to have,

but not all rulers will let them have

as they sit on the silver seat,

reading the book of wars

while the money pools at their feet.

~~~


Peace is the start of one war

after another,

what one nation has

but won't share

with its brother.

~~~


Peace is held with both hands,

like a dog grabs his food,

possessed with the possession:

"Peace – Mine! – Not Yours!"

And it snarls and snaps:

"If you dare come any closer to my Peace,

I'll rip at your face

and you'll wish to God

you never longed for the place

of my plate of Peace."

~~~


Peace hurts.

Peace hurts to have itself.

Peace wraps up itself in graves and weeps.

But Peace is glad to have itself

and knows it hurts far less than the cruel game

that people played to bring it.

Peace always remembers how it came.

~~~


"Peace is the fat cow"
"Peace is the fat cow" | Source

Peace is the fat cow

standing in the camouflage

of the tall summer grass.

Slow to move

when the hayers pass through

leaving the field

rolled up in stacks,

fenced inside

no place to hide

too fat to move

when the butchers break through

concealing the meat ax

behind their backs.

~~~


Ariel View of Brechat Ram, Golan Heights, Israel, by Pavel Bernshtam
Ariel View of Brechat Ram, Golan Heights, Israel, by Pavel Bernshtam

Peace is the puzzle seen from the air

of fields planted in deliberate greens.

Gain altitude

and the puzzle of Peace Now

pulls low,

drawn far below

the gray shadow

of the rain cloud

seeded with stones.

~~~


And the prophet turned to catch the convergence

blowing from the south into the east.

And in a low mantram, the people hummed,

"Peace."

~~~


Peace is the woman who saw the raised head

cocked inside the kitchen cupboard,

its body snaked into a coil,

a bomb inside the bread,

and the woman said,

"Enough!

Not in my kitchen you don't!"

And she takes the bone knife

and slashes and says,

"I'll cut my piece of Peace

and I'll carve my Peace Now!"

~~~


"to shovel the earth bed"
"to shovel the earth bed" | Source

Peace is the father plotting the line

to shovel the earth-bed

of his first-born child,

the last of the line

of the memory unreconciled

of a grandfather's empty eyes.

And he swings the shovel into the skies

and digs at the clouds,

Then digs at the dirt and weeps,

"I will dig the plot deep,

I will dig the plot long,

I will dig the plot wide,

I will dig the plot strong,

And I will plant the next-born of my seed

into the ground of Peace

and I will plant that plot for Peace Now!"

~~~


Peace is the blindfold

torn from the white flag

raised by the enemy.

Peace covers its eyes

so it will not see

the dull sword

(still a sword).

Peace screams,

"No, nevermore,

I will have my Peace evermore

And I will have my Peace Now!"

And the prophet heard the churning channel

of the storm winds of the south,

and heard the past merge with the present in a clear cry.

~~~


King David of Israel
King David of Israel | Source

Peace is the song in the southern sky

that caused the King of Israel to weep,

It cried the King to sleep,

the song of sorrows singing,

"For I dwell among the tents of Kedar!

Too long has my soul had its dwelling

with those who hate Peace.

I am for Peace,

but when I speak,

they are for

War."1

~~~


Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives at Sunrise
Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives at Sunrise | Source

Peace is the woman wearing a golden dress

And she met Yarash,

The Conqueror,

And she became betrothed

to the valiant warrior

of the victory

of the circling of seven hills,

in holy patrimony.

And then the auric bride became

the woman of the merging name,

Yarash-Shalom, Yerushalayim,

Jerusalem,

The Conquered Peace,

The Possession of Peace,

The Occupied Peace
.

And in the chuppah of the white smoke

in the cloud above Mount Zion

the Father of the bride spoke

and gave His blessing to the woman

and to the one who conquered her,

"The latter

glory of this house will be greater

than the former.

And in this Place

I shall give Peace."2

"Behold, I extend Peace to her

Like a river."3

But the bandit raised his head

and tore his shirt into a mask and said,

"I'll drive your river into the seas.

I'll drown your river of Peace

in the salt of the seas.

I'll throw myself into your river of Peace.

I'll bloody the waters,

stir mud with my feet.

If you dare to marry the woman named Peace,

a river of blood will run in your streets,

and I will smash the face of Peace Now!"

~~~


Storm Clouds over the Golan Heights, Israel, photo by Pavel Bernshtam
Storm Clouds over the Golan Heights, Israel, photo by Pavel Bernshtam

And the prophet saw the vision of a cloud without an end,

and heard acousma like wolves whining within the rising wind.

And a terror took hold of him and shook him back and forth,

and it swept through the cedars of Lebanon

meeting a wind of evil from the north.

But the people swayed in the continuum of the mantram hum,

"Peace."

~~~


And the prophet heard their humming as a swarm of bees,

swelling in crescendo within the blackening clouds,

the swarming of the storm winds blowing from the Baltic Sea,

the storm of the sons of Gomerer4 and their great hoards,

malevolent men, the men of old, the men of wars.

~~~


"the clouds turning to smoke"
"the clouds turning to smoke" | Source

And he collapsed under the onus of the clouds turning to smoke,

while the young boy leaned upon his breast and stroked his brow.

Then once again, the aged prophet spoke:

~~~


Human Soap Factory
Human Soap Factory | Source

Peace is the man of the memory

of canisters of Zyklon B.

Peace is the man of the memories

of bayonets brandished

with the blood of babies,

of his sister's skin stretched tight

to make a shade for a table light.

Peace is the man of the memory

of his mother's meager body

lying naked in a cache of flesh inside a vat,

boiling down to carefully extract

what little there was left of human fat

to make a bar of beauty soap

for the women bathing

in the Danzig Gulf,5

the women of the wombs of genetic aggregation,

the women well-versed in the German genre

of geneticism, the prolegomena

of the greater vision,

torturous

and tortuous

the murmuring

of the merging

of Ashkenaz

of Riphath

and Togarmah

with Magog to the east.6

And even then the people hummed the mantram,

"Peace."

~~~


"a cache of flesh"
"a cache of flesh" | Source

And with the torrent of a shaking

like the ague of the earth quaking,

the prophet rolled his eyes into his head

and saw the specter

of the sure

and necessary apocalypse

that would bring Peace Now

to such a one as the man with the memory

of his mother's meager body

boiling down into a bar of soap

for the German genera.

~~~


"Oh Lebanon, that a fire may feed on your cedars"
"Oh Lebanon, that a fire may feed on your cedars" | Source

And the prophet reeled with the revelation

and threw the barefoot boy away from him,

rising with the torture of the tremors of the vision

which seized him with the seizures

of certain wars.

"Open your doors,

O Lebanon,

that a fire

may feed on your cedars."7

And the cedars shook their foliage

in a whipping of the prophet's face,

and his being merged within the spirit of the vision

and it burned his blood like hydrogen

burning in a sulfur fire.

~~~


"in the torrid blaze"
"in the torrid blaze" | Source

And he ignited in the torrid blaze,

self-immolating

in the consuming

of the age

that would have Peace Now.

And as his body burned to lime8

the young boy thrust his hands

into the blaze

and pulled the prophet's sandals,

snatched like smoldering firebrands,

the last relics of the prophet,

the last artifact

of the last act

of the abject ash

of Peace Now.

~~~


And the young boy said with sorrow,

"Peace, Tomorrow."

And now

the people bowed low

at the feet of the barefoot boy

who said,

"Peace, Tomorrow."


_____________________________
Notes:
1David (King of Israel, 1000 BCE), Bible, Psalm 120: 5-7
2Bible, Haggai 2:9
3Bible, Isaiah 66:12
4Bible, Genesis 10:2, 3 and Ezekiel 38
5During WW II in Danzig, Poland, Professor Rudolf Spanner began making soap from human corpses supplied by the Nazi death camp in Stutthof. Read more about this German horror. Information can also be found at this museum site, by searching the archives for: Anatomical Institute in Wrzeszez.
6When the Austria-Hungary/Germany alliance declared war in the summer of 1914, the resulting conflict became known as World War I. The war killed over 35 million people. In the spring of 1938, Hitler led Germany into Austria, beginning World War II, which ended with a death count of over 60 million people. Fifty years ago, a wall was erected that divided, crippled, and contained Germany's power and ambition. The wall was torn down and the two sides of Germany were reunified on October 3, 1990.
7Bible, Zechariah 11:1.
8Bible, Isaiah 33: 9-12

On June 28, 2013, The Jerusalem Post reported that there are now 80,000 Hezbollah rockets pointed at Israel from Shi’ite villages in southern Lebanon.

Author's Comments

Peace Now was originally published in the Journal of New Jersey Poets, College of Morris, a recipient of the Excellence in Print Award from the U. S. Library of Congress.

Jerusalem Peace - Dove with Olive Branch

Jerusalem Peace Dove T-shirt
Jerusalem Peace Dove T-shirt

Peace from Jerusalem

Jerusalem Peace Dove II T-Shirt (11 Colors Sizes S - XXL) From Jerusalem Israel
Jerusalem Peace Dove II T-Shirt (11 Colors Sizes S - XXL) From Jerusalem Israel

The word Peace is written in Hebrew and Arabic. The lion is the Lion of Judah and is the logo of the municipality of Jerusalem. All cotton and available in 11 colors and 5 sizes. Give the gift of peace.

 

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
'May they prosper who love you.
May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces."

– Bible, Psalm 122: 6, 7 (circa 1,000 BCE)

Jerusalem - City of Peace

Jerusalem City of Peace T-Shirt
Jerusalem City of Peace T-Shirt
Jerusalem City of Peace II T-Shirt (11 Colors Sizes S - XXL) From Jerusalem Israel
Jerusalem City of Peace II T-Shirt (11 Colors Sizes S - XXL) From Jerusalem Israel

All cotton and available in 11 colors and 5 sizes. Give the gift of peace in Jerusalem.

 
Dove of Peace
Dove of Peace

Photo Credits

Dove of Peace

The dove in flight carrying an olive branch is the ancient symbol of peace and represents man's peace with God after the global flood left only eight survivors.

All cultures and tribes have a memory of the world flood. The oldest record in an extant language is found in the Biblical book of Genesis.

"Then God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And God was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence."
– Bible, Genesis 6

After the destruction, the family of Noah aboard the ark sent a dove out of a window.

"The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth."
– Bible, Genesis 8:11

You may order the Dove of Peace print, framed or unframed. It is the gift of peace.

Safie
Safie | Source

Safie

This print, Safie One of the Three Ladies of Baghdad by William Clarke Wontner, is available in seven sizes – framed print or stretched canvas.

The painter was part of the neo-classical movement in Britian and he is known for painting "seductively languorous women" with "an air of Orientalism."

His use of color is extraordinary, mixing pastels with vibrant contrast.

Even today, this is what the typical home entrance and doorway looks like in the Old City of Jerusalem and in many other ancient cities in the Middle East.

Jerusalem
Jerusalem

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Poems about Jerusalem

~~~

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War Poetry and Soldier Poems

~~~

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Winter Poems
Winter Poems

Read Pulitzer-Prize-winning poems about divorce:

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~~~

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~~~

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Read more than 60 best spring poems and spring poems for kids in this illustrated, online collection:

Spring Poems and Spring Poems for Kids

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Writer Fox

Want to earn money for writing poetry? Join the Writer Fox Writers Den.


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The quote from Kahlil Gibran was used with written permission from Knopf Publishers.

Photographs of 'Brechat Ram' and 'Storm Clouds over the Golan Heights' are courtesy of Pavel Bernshtam.

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    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Quite incredible even on a second read through. Wonderful pictures. Sharing. Thersa

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you so much. Your comments on my poetry mean a lot to me.

    • profile image

      Rayne123 3 years ago

      Your style of writing is unique and very interesting.

      Great write and pictures.

      Unique is good, very good

      I love the dove picture, may I save it to my pictures?

      Thanks

      Laurie

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you for your comments on this poem about peace, Laurie.

      The dove picture is copyright by AllPosters and can only be used by affiliates, and in accordance with the Terms of Service. It's an amazing picture of Peace!

    • profile image

      Rayne123 3 years ago

      Ok thank you

      Beautiful picture

      All the best

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome, interesting, and photos are beautiful with this hub title. You have shared a meaningful hub with such good poetry

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you, DDE for your comments on this poem about peace.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Beautiful poem. The accompanying photos are wonderful. I never thought about peace as something that follows turmoil. Before reading your poem I just looked at peace as peace, but never considered peace as moment that is the result of an ended war. Very enlightening.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      I'm glad you found this poem, Marlene, and I really do appreciate you comments here.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      This was quite something to read, Writer Fox. I was riveted by the many definitions of peace that contradict what we think of as "peaceful." I do recall researching the word for my hub on finding peace and was intrigued by the association with war. Most people don't think about peace in that manner. I am a fan of Kahlil Gibran and loved that you cited him in this piece. Your writing is powerfully graphic and thought-provoking. Voted up, beautiful, and interesting.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you, Jan. It means a lot to have such nice complements from another poet. Appreciate it!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Incredible poetry here. Really enjoyed it. You are truly a gifted poet. And I thought the whole time you were more about SEO and such, so this is a delightful surprise.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you, Faith. My magic pencils always produce surprises, even to me sometimes. This poem about peace is unusual in that it takes a turn you did not expect.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is very powerful and thought provoking poetry, Writer Fox. I will be returning to this hub many times to read the poems again and to think about them. There are so many ideas in the poems to ponder and appreciate! I'll share this hub.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      I appreciate your comment so much, AlicaC. Peace seems to be the unobtainable challenge of civilization.

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

      Fox ~

      Only you have the greatest way of telling.

      If you haven't, you should publish.

      I would follow. Composed beautifully ...

      Z

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you, Ziyena. Yes, this poem was published in the Journal of New Jersey Poets. All of my poems have been published in literary magazines.

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      Beautiful and thank you for all your assistance.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you Lorelei. I'm glad you read this poem and I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

      Fantastic, Writer Fox, I really enjoyed this work.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Will there ever be peace? What is real peace? Voted up, shared and pinned.

      Kevin

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      This is a powerful, Earth shaking, heartfelt poem. Incredible, Fox. Incredible.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      A masterful job. Just stunning. The pictures are so perfectly matched to the words.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Amazing! Folklore in the making. "Peace is the man of the memory" We should all pray lest we forget that man!

      This was an inspiration Writer Fox and certainly one to be remembered through the ages.

      Voted all but funny.

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you Shyron, Kevin, Phyllis and Mary. This poem doesn't get noticed much by writers on this website, but it did get a lot of attention when it was first published in America. Sadly, the situation in Lebanon has grown much worse since I wrote this and ISIS will soon have access to nuclear bombs.

      I appreciate your comments, votes and shares.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 20 months ago from Minnesota

      I'm not sure my comment went through because when I hit post comment I was redirect to log back in to HP. Excellent piece Writer Fox.

    • skellie profile image

      skellie 2 months ago from Adelaide

      Very intense poem but good.

      It is a shame that war, blood and destruction is continually associated with peace.

      Peace can never be achieved this way (through war), it will never really be peaceful.

      Someone will always hold a grudge that will be put into action at a moments notice.

      You are a great writer and this is a very well thought out hub. :)

    • Writer Fox profile image
      Author

      Writer Fox 2 weeks ago from the wadi near the little river

      Thank you for your comment, Skellie.

      Peace to you.

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