“Poetry is an act of peace.” — Pablo Neruda

I want to write a poem that feeds the hungry, a poem that makes the world healthy, one that ends torture and replaces greed with compassion.

I want to write a poem that awakens people to the horror of war, a poem that ends our addiction to violence, one that reveals the obscenity of sending young men and women to war.

I want to write a poem that defeats nationalism and militarism and every other “ism,” a poem that celebrates human dignity and the beauty and abundance of the earth.

I want to write a poem that brings down leaders before they commit genocide and other intolerable crimes, a poem that ends impunity.

I want to write a poem that celebrates the miracle of life, one that makes young people aware of their own beauty and fills them with courage to fight for justice.

I am searching for the words, the grammar, the language, the rhythms to write such a poem.

Such words are still forming like cooling lava, and the rules of grammar are as uncertain as mist. But the language, the language must be of the heart’s pulse. And the rhythms must be those of the wind and tides.

A poem of such magic cannot be found in books or on ancient scrolls. Such a poem cannot be written in stone, or ink or even blood. It can only be lived.