To Write a Peace Poem

Two poems I wrote from my answers


Athena Owl along the Alon Road,<br />Occupied Territories / West Bank, Israel<br />Photo: Michael Dickel
Athena Owl
along the Alon road,
Occupied Territories

Along the Alon road
near where we glimpsed
an Athena owl, a widening
of the road for cars to rest
and look out holds two old
olive trees together, friends.

Maps show new divisions.
Old maps recall old boundaries.
Stone fences, barbed wire
come and go. Land mines
lay sleeping. But the olive
branches don’t see these.

Standing guard by the road,
the two see one land: valleys,
wadis, and fields from here
to the Jordan’s distant shore.

—Michael Dickel ©2013

Originally published in The Second Genesis: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry (A.R.A.W.L.II, 2014).

While at Green Gulch Farm: Imperfect Haikai

Bell rings twice;
silence breathes out.
Zendo echoes.

Bell rings once;
gentle sound speaks:
stay or go.

Bell rings;
community chants.
Silent fog waits.

Sun-burnt patches of fog.
Sound may dispel clouds;
sea waves crash.

Water separates
into droplets reflecting light,
a loved one’s parting.

Soft sand underfoot,
yielding. Waves pound
packed sand.

Broken silence
dispels glistening swimmers
from their reverie.

Shadows fall, then rain.
Cold winds howl down
                                          the valley.
Tears drop, one by one.

Storm passes,
a lone figure stands on the beach.
It is time to leave.

Mist filters evening,
strolling through snow.
Inward-rolling fog.

One moment, a thousand                   moments.

Unending waves, eternal stone:
sparkling sea splashes.
One moment, a thousand

White-foamed waves
punctuate silence
deeper than mountain roots.

Evening mist
hides and reveals
mountain top.

Tendrils of fog
drop down.
Quail at our feet.

—Michael Dickel ©2011

Originally published in Sunrise from Blue Thunder (Pirene’s Fountain Press, 2011); this version has been lightly edited.



Michael Dickel
Lucky Goat Café,
Tallahassee Florida
©2018 Cindy Dickel

Michael Dickel (a contributing editor for The BeZine) has had writing and art in print and online since 1987.  His latest collection of poetry, Nothing Remembers, came out in 2019 from Finishing Line Press, and received 3rd place for poetry in the Feathered Quill Book Awards–2020. His also won the international Reuben Rose Poetry Award (2009 and 2008), and has been translated into several languages. A poetry chap book, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism, came out in 2017; The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, a flash fiction collection, came out in 2016. Previous books: War Surrounds Us (2014), Midwest / Mid-East (2012), and The World Behind It, Chaos… (2009). He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36, was managing editor for arc-23 and -24, and is a past-chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. With producer / director David Fisher, he received a U.S.A. National Endowment of Humanities documentary-film development grant. He currently is a lecturer at David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem, Israel.


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