Frank Bana

Insisting On Peace - Poem by Frank Bana

Peace is said to be elusive!
But peace is not elusive really
When it is loved and prized

Above other desires
Peace is what we think of
When we hold our children's hands

And behold our futures
In a moment's contemplation
Of our deepest needs and plans.

Bread or rice or porridge
Garnished with some sweetness
And the relish still to come -

So is peace upon the tongue
A simple obligation
Daily duty undertaken

To preserve the space to grow
All we need to learn and know.

And for all the little animals
And the beautiful believers
And their brothers, unbelievers

Faithful equally and true
The little children too
And their own needs and desires
And the dreams they will pursue.

We will love the taste of it
As our hungry souls are filled
Oh, be patient and insist on it
With your friends and enemies
Addicted more to peace.

And since we have no powers
Of stop, search and arrest
We must crowd the hatred
And squeeze the violence

Let them feel unwelcome here
Unwelcome in our homes and hearts
Until they face the mirror
To renounce their brutal ways
To confront the violence of our days.

And by these necessary means
One by one, hearts can be claimed
And freed of all their silent fears
Our hearts employed as builders' stones

To raise up houses of ideals
Where hands can reach out unafraid
And wherein peace securely reigns.

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 15, 2006

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 9, 2010

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