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                  PEACE CHANT IN REDWOODS

Sweet bread that sustains us,
our senses devour you!
You come as the stellar jay's yell,
the loud wind that pounds
while redwoods creak. You're the day
that gives itself for us.
Our eyes lick your white trillium
and redwood sorrel.  They swallow
your old man's beard, that green lichen
that abounds in clumps.  They drink
the fog that refuses to part. Sweet day,
you are the unbroken bread. Our hands
taste you in rough douglas fir bark
in soft redwoods, in the crispness
of frigid streams.  Your're the scent
of damp oyster mushrooms, of chantarelles
and soil. We taste you in miner's lettuce
and  in fennel's licorice tang. Sweet bread,
we stand at our own center and at yours.
The day that feeds will grab us back
and make us food for moss and snails.
We walk with this knowledge, and know
the  mutual hunger that sustains us
and keeps us alive. Together we're strong
as granite and wind. You're our partner, our meal,
the mouth that will take us.

              Sweet bread
              sustain us
              in wartime
              when we walk
              in an orphanage.
              Its halls echo
              with voices
              of dead parents
              and missing friends
              and one deep note
              from a funeral
              organ. We smell
              wax from burnt candles
              that stand before
              portraits and the sweet
              smell of lilies
              that mourn.   We smell
              floor wax, the stench
             of absence. The light
             in this place is filled
             with gray dust. The linoleum
             shines like caskets
             when sunshine hits them.
             Preserve us from the taste
             of stale bologna, of cheap
            mayonaise, processed
            cheese food late at night.
            Bread, defend us
            from surplus blankets
            that scratch and mattresses
            so flat  they don't
            respond to our kicks
            and shrieks when we
            yell and mourn. Sustain
            us in this   draining place
            called war, this structure
           that grows and dominates
           the land. Call us to granite,
           to river, to wind, to redwoods.
           Help us turn this orphanage
           into moon

                         by Paul Belz

Paul Belz
PO Box 14358
Berkeley, Ca. 94701                

Copyright 1999, Paul Belz. All rights reserved.


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This page was created by Aikya Param for all people interested in a just peace in the Balkans and everywhere.  Other pages by Aikya Param include Promise, Promise Awards, Hindu Web Graphics and Advaita Vedanta for Today.  Aikya co-manages the HinduWebring with Nitin Namjoshi.  Thank you to Argotique for some of the graphics on these pages..  Last updated on 04/23/99. Hit Counter