Tanka Peace

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The Place Where I Stand, acrylic, 40″ X 30″, Lex Leonard Artist

 

PEACE  POETRY POSTCARD MONTH
World Peace Poets

For three years I’ve  participated in the World Peace Poets’ annual February Peace Poetry Postcard Month where you sign up and receive the names and addresses of 28 or so poets from around the world who have also opted in. Each day you write a poem about peace on a postcard and send it to the next person on the list.

Last year I decided to do haikus because they fit easily onto the back of the postcards. 

This quote below from Michael Mead popped into my Facebook feed and that was my invitation.

“The ancient Irish had a saying: ‘You don’t give a man a weapon until you’ve taught him how to dance.’ In other words, a different kind of learning is required before someone can be truly trusted with social power and potent things like weapons. If a man does not know the wounds of his own soul, he can deny not just his own pain, but also be unmoved by the suffering of other people. More than that, he will tend to put his wound onto others. He may only be able to see the wound that secretly troubles him when he forcefully projects it into someone else, in forms of abuse or violence.

So in the old culture-making idea, in order to properly bear arms a person must first become disarmed, as in becoming vulnerable and connected to something meaningful and supportive of life. The idea of forging the temperament of young men took precedence over the idea of simply giving them weapons at a certain age. The tempering of the souls involved discovering what kind of anger each might carry and learning about the inner line where anger turned into blind rage. Becoming tempered also meant immersing in the sorrow of one’s life and thereby being in touch with the grief of the world.”

– Michael Meade

This month my tankas built off of this quote. It was a deep dive – a lectio divina of sorts – on this passage. There turned out to be an adjustment in participants. Sone left. Some arrived. I just kept all on my list, so there are 32 for this month of February.

And sometimes life calls for breaking from the form. The tankas are not “correct” and I finished the month early. I’m such a little rebel.

Tanka Peace 

 

“The ancient Irish had a saying: ‘You don’t give a man a weapon until you’ve taught him how to dance…”

Tanka #1

Each new day I will
Listen for morning birdsong
Move my stiff old legs

To hear my dreams from night past
To know my imperfections 

……….

Tanka #2

Prayer, a practice
Of my body where God stands
Perfect emptiness

Disarm myself, opening
To you, a balm for old wounds

……….

Tanka #3

Hospitality
Of poetry, a canvas
Blank, a dance of risk 

Tempering my soul with words
Painting peace in color and form

……….

Tanka #4

I don’t see beyond
The barrier of my soul
I stay within now

I clear my clutter of wrongs
I open to possibility

……….

Tanka #5

Grandfather’s clock ticks
Snow dances in its own song
This winter peace, peace

In peace of silent twirling
I hear you, Holy Presence.

……….

Tanka #6

Steam rising into form
She at her laundry duty
Her benediction

There is peace in winter’s breath.
In all we do, our soul sings.

……….

Tanka #7

He doesn’t know how
He has no room for wonder
He has never danced

Take me by my hand in peace
Feel what love offers all

……….

Tanka #8

I must make the room
Dancing requires much spaceThere is peace to know

I move the furniture back
Roll up the rug, clear the way

………

Tanka #9

I’ll listen later
To the closers of the day
Sun down and moon up

I walk opening my heart
Dancing in the peace of night

………..

Tanka #10

No, they didn’t, know
They didn’t know how easy
To see what was gone

Deep within a silent pool
To draw into life’s sound

……………

Tanka #11

They’re in my pocket
Small and insignificant
Unless you know them

I reach in and find their rough,
Their smooth, their being, their peace

……………..

Tanka #12

Always good to see
You, pal. Your light. Your space. You
draw me into soft.

That place of peace requiring
room, attention, ya, ya, ya.

…………..

Tanka #13

She said she would call
You, who knows all the answers
You, Wisdom Keeper

She hears you, gives into You
The sacred space of your peace

…………………

Tanka #14 

Swam some laps last night
Under moon showing a way
Silkflow over me

Moon guiding me in the peace
of you, Moon’s eternal grace

…………………

Tanka #15

Did she forgot how
to dance, or was it that she
was playing old games

Lines and strokes, pauses and loss,
Compassion calls for patience

…………………

Tanka #16

It’s not a fault when
Steps are no longer there to
Be remembered

With light hand offering
A lead, one can dance once more.

…………………

Tanka #17

Compassion requests
Ego to sit this one out,
To learn a new step

Open once more, yes, again
And welcome them into dance

…………………

Tanka #18

In broken heart I
See you now, clearly, absorbed
In old remembering

Break open, release your pride
Acquiesce all to the dance

…………………

Tanka #19

Maybe we forgot
how to dance without judgement,
without fear, without ego 

wanting us to be the best
we forget to make room 

…………………

Tanka #20

I asked my muse to
open my heart, free my soul,
a surrendering

A sacred place to waltz
In the whisper of her breath

…………………

Tanka #21

Snowflakes keep falling
Winters breath spins dancing sprites
Through her cold frost day

Play in her joy in the peace
Of February’s tango

…………………

Tanka #22

Dance as if you’re mad
Dance in rain, in snow, fall leaves
Dance until you can’t 

Then dance even more till dawn
Completely surrendered

…………………

Tanka #23

Come with me, tango
In step counting our heartbeats
As one with the moon

And we will breath in and out
Inviting all to the dance

…………………

Tanka #24

Teach me how to dance
One peaceful step at a time
Gentle  me to you

Let me gloam in your welcome
Let me measure you deeply

…………………

Tanka #25

Let me bring you to
the dance, fill your heart with
Song. no room for fear.

We will step as One in breath
One in joy, no room for hate.

…………………

Tanka #26

Let me bring you to
the dance, to empty your heart
Make room for deep peace

Night will turn to dawn and we
Will find each other in Grace

…………………

Tanka #27

Let me bring you to
The dance, let go of your hurt
I am with you

We are One in this place of
Joy, Make room, make room, make room

…………………

Tanka #28

Come with me in dance
And we will spin new ways of
Being making room

Hands held tight we twirl shaking
Off all that no longer serves.

…………………

Tanka #29

And if we dance till
Sun up and down we will have
Little time for fear

And peace will fill our days with
Joy, dance will be our province

…………………

Tanka #30

No time to fear in
Quickstep. No room for hate in
Tango. Let us dance.

Empty our hearts leave room for
Peace, just dance and dance and dance

…………………

Tanka #31

Don’t even pick up
The sword, don’t touch the cannon
A marvel awaits

See if you can find it, just
Take off your shoes and dance.

…………………

Tanka #32

Take off your shoes to
Feel her under your feet
Root down deep to her

And dance as One in her peace
Her arms are open, take hold

2 thoughts on “Tanka Peace

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