March 13 – Wage Peace

Thursday March 13 — Mary Oliver

I posted Mary O’s “Wage Peace” on December 2, thinking then of Bill Pauly, sj, a soul friend who died too young of a heart attack on November 29, 2006. He loved Mary O’s poetry and got me to pay attention. She, the poet, has a gift for writing homey simplicities that sneak up and startle readers with terrible depths. Good reading for a day that bounced off weather in the 50’s with a wild brief snow storm and high winds. Then today’s dawn which looks like it will have to work to climb above -1º for a little while despite it’s bright sun.

“Wage peace.” Blessings on your day.

john sj


WAGE PEACE — Mary Oliver
Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children and fresh mown
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don’t wait another minute.


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