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let us now praise the peace

after Pablo Neruda

let us sit
without movement, without words

harmless
not trampling the ant
or butchering the steer

neither selling nor buying
no birthing, no dying

fisherfolk transfixed above the wave
carpenters silent by the bench

. . . . . poet

lay down your pen
let every hand be still ~
slow the racing heart,
the speed-demon thrills

stop!
no movement, no words

now, let us praise the peace

© 2015, Jamie Dedes


Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Extravagaria : A Bilingual Edition
by Pablo Neruda (Author), Alastair Reid (Translator)
Noonday Press; Bilingual edition (January 2001)
ISBN: 0374512388

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