Peace with Ourselves | Mike Stone

The Irony of Ploughshares

In the Middle East
If you want to prepare for peace
You must first prepare for war
Because peace must be waged
With the same seriousness of intent as war
And there are as many obstacles and pitfalls
On the path to peace as there are along the path to war.
A weak man cannot forge peace because
His weakness tempts his enemies to attack
And weak are the saber rattlers
Hoping to frighten their enemies
With simulations of disproportionate force.
Their fears and uncertainties blind them
To the path of peace.
Only a strong man is confident and sees clearly.
He walks calmly along the path
Narrow as the razor's edge.
The path to peace meanders through Gaza
Where we've been eyeless and
Our plow shares will be made out of swords,
Neither flowers
Nor gentle breezes.
				September 28, 2016

Rosh HaShana

Enough of idle dreams and wishes
Enough of sweetness, honey and apples.
The light does not come from East
And not from West,
But from inside us.
Peace will not come from one of us
But from all of us.
There is no time but marching forward
To futures where Abraham's progeny
Sit together at a table
Sharing food and drink
And all men's children
Play and grow in health
Uneducated in the ways of war
But wise in the paths of peace,
All men necessary on this march because
No one knows from whence come saviors,
What will be their color or creed,
What language they will speak,
Whether man, woman, child
Or stranger.
October 2, 2016

And In The Darkness We Shall Dance and Remember What We Are
Digital Art
Kat Patton ©2022

Making Peace with Ourselves

Most of the time I’m just me
And sometimes I’m we
But every once in a while, we are them
And they are us.
It seems to me that everyone
Who wants their story heard
Would want their own country
To tell it loud and clear
And the problem with countries
Is that nobody will give you one
Just because you asked for it nicely
And nobody wants to be occupied
So, if you still want a country
You’re going to have to make life
Pretty uncomfortable for the occupiers.
I mean when we were them
And they were us,
Why can’t we remember that?
Then maybe we could make peace with ourselves.

March 7, 2020

Poems ©2022 Mike Stone
All rights reserved

Mike Stone…

…was born in Columbus Ohio, USA, in 1947. He graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology. He served in both the US Army and the Israeli Defense Forces. Mike moved to Israel in 1978 and lives in Raanana. He has self-published eight books of poetry. Mike is married to Talma. They have 3 sons and 8 grandchildren.

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