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They speak of the art of war,
but the arts
draw their light from the soul's well,
and warfare
dries up the soul and draws its power
from a dark and burning wasteland.
--from Denise Levertov's poem Misnomer


The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God
the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.
--from Teilhard de Chardin's Toward the Future


The Diameter of the Bomb by Yehuda Amichai
The broad reach of war's grief.

Untitled by Wendell Berry
A poem to his granddaughters after seeing the Holocaust Memorial.

Conscientious Objector by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Refusal to work in death's service.

To My Children, Fearing for Them by Wendell Berry
With deep regret for the state of this world that we are passing on.

At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border by William Stafford
"This is the field where the battle did not happen..."

from The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney
A prayer, a hope for "a tidal wave of justice."

Objector by William Stafford
A simple gesture is a promise "never to kill and call it fate."

Alabanza: In Praise of the Local 100 by Martin Espada
A poem for the 43 members of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees local 100 who lost their lives on 9/11. This poem could be a sermon.

War Photograph by Kate Daniels
An ekphrastic poem, bridging a girl in a war zone photo with the empathic but removed Western viewer.

There Are Days by Jean Janzen
"There are days when I believe in the reconciliation of old walls…"

Imagine the Angels of Bread by Martin Espada
This is a 21st-century upside down kingdom. Imagine.

juxtaposing the black boy & the bullet by Danez Smith
A powerful poem about young black men being shot. Not overtly religious, but isn't this an issue for churches to engage?

Poem (I lived in the first century of world wars) by Muriel Rukeyser
The poet attempts to make sense of world wars, to find kindred spirits, to make peace through poems.

Making Peace by Denise Levertov
What does peace look like if we imagine it as more than the absence of war?