Tuesday, March 17, 2009

After - an original poem

When I took Lee Bennett Hopkins's Poetry Master Class at the LA SCBWI Conference in 2007, one of the folks I met was Judy Fisk Lucas, who is putting together an ambitious project to raise funds in order to help construct a Patch Adams hospital in West Virginia. Back on February 8th, I got an email from her about the project, for which she is collection 1,000 poems about peace, which will be put into a book and sold as a fundraiser. I immediately told her I'd send her a poem for her Peace Project. Here's the poem I sent Judy last week:

by Kelly R. Fineman

    I've got peace like a river,
    I've got peace like a river,
    I've got peace like a river in my soul.— African American spiritual

After the storm,
hissing, roiling waters burst through
sandbag levees; the river
brings no peace at all.
Waters carry death and carnage,
waters carry stories and belongings,
waters carry worry and fear,
hope and need and new beginnings.

After the flood,
after waters recede, settling between
banks, whispering of dreams and desires,
even before debris can be cleared,
shoots spring up from sated earth
skyward; like hope, eternal.
New-washed land shows signs of life.
Et in terra pax.*

*"And on earth, peace."

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