I was surfing the web – seeking stress release,
I saw it’s the ‘International Day of Living Together in Peace’.
What a brilliant idea I thought, exactly what we need,
In a world often blighted by violence and greed;
But then I realise a bit queasily this prize ain’t won easily,
And often when we talk about peace, we do it cheesily,
Make it vague, a kind of plague of platitude and trope,
Is there a better way to say – and chase peace with zeal and hope?
I think it starts with each of us, maybe a simple action,
A smile, a kind word, seems absurd – but could gain traction,
It helps overall, to start small, with family, friend,
Your first step might be just not to send them round the bend!
Once you start, find your heart moving in the right direction,
Start to show it, before you know it, it spreads just like convection,
So give a cheer, a listening ear, pursue mutual understanding,
Not the rant you might plant on your flatmate on the landing.
The whole thrust is mutual trust building bridges and community,
Erecting barriers against hate, a kind of ‘heart immunity’,
And I really hope today, no matter what’s the weather,
Will be a day we all learn how to live in peace together.
I used to cling onto my interests,
I’d fight with my might to defend,
Then I learned to let go, and it’s clear now, I know
It’s the way to turn enemy to friend.
You oppressors, the captives release,
You warmongers, your violence cease,
And find a fresh way this International Day
Of Living Together in Peace.
Voice audio of longer poem: