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

Wind, A Prayer for Peace

OurLadyofMountainandPlain

Our Lady of Mountain and Plain, ©Lexanne Leonard

02.07.19
Wind.I,
A Prayer for Peace

You purl life into life
Breath in, Breath out
Peaceful immigration,
Halcyon egress

North, South
East and West,
Origin of Compass,
Lead me to rest

 

02.08.19
Wind.II,
Wayramama

Where air is rare
Your breath unfurls,
Into nature I step
A balance,
Right Relationship
To give and
Remember
To receive

North, South
East and West,
Origin of Compass,
Lead me to rest


02.09.19
Wind.III,
Feng Po Po

Primordial storm
On tiger back
A sack to whisk
Away heave of wind,
Harmony

North, South
East and West,
Origin of Compass,
Lead me to rest

02.10.19
Wind.IV,
Dogoda

In fields of
Barley, millet and oats
Carins stay strong
Against tempest.
I hear your
Ancient Voice
Compassion,
I forgive

North, South
East and West,
Origin of Compass,
Lead me to rest

 

02.11.19
Wind.V,
Njoror

In celebration
In gratitude,
Your zephyr
Thrives,
I grow and prosper
Breaths deep and
Abundant,
I am, I am, I am

North, South
East and West,
Origin of Compass,
Lead me to rest

 

02.12.19
Wind.VI,
End

Purl, unfurl
Whisk and heave
Abundant Wind,
Giver of Life,
My face turned
To You

North, South
East and West,
Origin of Compass,
I am blessed

Author’s Note:

I was recently introduce to the Goddesses of the Wind by Renee Baribeau and her lovely and powerful book, Winds of Spirit, Ancient Wisdom Tools for Navigating Relationships, Health, and the Divine. As one who has always found comfort in wind, this was a brilliant way to reconnect.

The above poem prayers are a result and fit perfectly into this month’s World Peace Poet’s annual invitation to write a poem every day and send a wish for peace across the globe.

PPP – Peace Poetry Postcard Month

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February is one of my favorite months.

Valentines Day. Imbolc. And the World Peace Poets who usher in their Peace Poetry Postcard Month.

We sign up to receive 28 names and addresses of other poets from across the world who will write one poem a day in February on a postcard and pop it into the mail to a different poet each day. And, of course, the theme of peace flies through the universe courtesy of the mail systems. Ahhhhhhh, a beautiful way to spread peace and art and magical words and intentional creativity.

I am late in posting. It is already Day 6. Today I shall catch up. Then post one a day from here on out. I promise.

02.01.19
Being
I
Become
Bring forth
Be at cause
Realign my extent
Turn around

Revolutionary Evolutionary Being

My gambol in

Peace

 

02.02.19
Convolvulus

/kənˈvɒlvjuːləs/
genus Convolvulaceae

Bind weeds to strangle

Morning Glories, family, too
Bright eyes in morning sun
Blue as Mar Pacifico
“the peaceful sea”

Two sides of family

Revolutionary combatant
Evolutionary halcyon
Beings conceived in parallel

 

02.03.19
Good Ancestor

I reach back to you,
Good Ancestor,
embrace your peace,
your walk with me.

I reach ahead to you,
Good Ancestor,
divine your peace,
your walk with me.

I walk my day,
an open vessel
to shine out your peace,
Good Ancestor To Be.

 

02.04.19
Milky Way
It all came back to
why she dyed her hair.

She wasn’t at peace with
who she was.

The Milky Way
gently nudged her
home.


02.05.19
genius loci

The spirit of place that is.

Architects, the good ones,
the ones who know
beings
and nature
and things created
must reside in peace,
and weave the genius loci
into its right
a
nd honorable space.

(Dedicated to Daniel Libeskind, architect of the Denver Art Museum, after hearing his interview on Colorado CPR)

 

02.06.19
Roofers
In February’s stolid chill
roofers crack open early morning peace.

Rhythmic nails shutter out
weather’s purpose.

June’s hail storm
Re-collected.

End

Day 28: Peace Poetry Postcard Month

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In the end, I bless you
with water from Magdalene’s cave.

I bless you with breath of life
deep within.

I bless you with laughter
from my belly.

At the end of our month
of words of peace,
I wish for you rest and joy.

In gratitude, I bless your being
as you bless the world with you.

Munay. Aho. Amen.

 

And today we come to the end of Peace Poetry Postcard Month. The practice of writing a poem a day about how I step into peace in this world has been important work.

I continue to write, but with much less frequency. However, April is National Poetry Month and I participate in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo).

I hope you join me.

Much peace and many blessings,
Lex

Red

Day 27: Peace Poetry Postcard Month

RedBone.jpg

 

John-Luke’s hands
stretched and pulled,
painted and blessed,
then gently tied the
powdered red bone
to Paa.

And our ancestors
danced my drum into being.

In peace she beats
in tandem with my heart,
Paa, the word for water,
red the color of blood,
John-Luke, Red Wolf,
howling our unity.

Water Is Life

Day 26: Peace Poetry Postcard Month

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There are seven new
planets in the
Trappist-1 star,
an ultra cool dwarf
where water could be ice
for people like you and me.

In Benedict’s rule,
mistakenly titled,
for it is not one rule
but an entire book,
there calls balance,
moderation
between zeal and formula,
far right and deep left.

In the peace of all things
Trappists step intentionally,
we dance in rain,
planets circle their
sun waiting to be unearthed.