In its 4-year existence, the Youth Peace-Poem Competition hosted by IPPWA and executed by the Live Poets' Guild has seen wondrous change and growth in the poems our kids submit and in their engagement with verse and music.
In 2011, PR kids contributed 3,385 lines of poetry to the International Peace Poem, more than ever before. Almost 450 poems were submitted and judged by a panel of a dozen judges. Shari Ulrich, of UHF and Pied Pumkin fame, led the Poem-to-Song workshop in its third year and produced some memorable songs which we will hear on PR occasions and abroad for years. (www.shariulrich.com) Read more »
Crimson, amber, yellow, gold
Lay amongst the ground untold
Of future growth and dreams to come
While seemingly a life undone
The pain of loss brings with it chance
To try again to learn to dance
The past must go and lay to rest
Feeding roots for buds to crest
Soon the sun again will shine
To melt the snow just in time
For new beginnings of green to be
A new life cycle to set you free.
Tracy Fraser 2006
Flower on the Wall
uprooted from the ground
loose footing in perlite
no stability to be found
tossed from place to place
feigned cheer holding strong
but the strain shows in your face
severed from the past
fresh vibrant flowers
how long will they last?
seeking a permanent bed
a place to grow new roots
where your soul can be steadily fed
no path set to follow
a mind full of meds
can make one feel hollow
self image cut to a shred
the image you see in the mirror
comes from within your head
unseen by passers-by
just an ordinary flower
to the unappreciative eye
if by chance we did meet
how can I pass you by
to leave you to the street?
I have a hand full of marbles
...like so many beautiful moments
their own stories horrible with grandeur
I remember being exhausted, smoking,
looking for a house at night with a pool
and a girl I have never loved
absurd and strange the night was, full of stars
my friends and I walked for miles to find that house
through fields and fields of fireflies
melting into the sky and shadowing the moon
the luscious landscape
I wish I could show you,
the girl did not want to come with us so,
we went back to the abandoned building where
we made graffiti and slept on the cold floor,
in the morning going to school by hitch hiking,,,
if we did not get a lift
we would have spent the day with the captured baby lion
which had been moaning and growling all night
we did not sleep that well
and got out of there unharmed and alive…
I walk at peace
with these living patterns
guided by silence
and this walking stick
I reach up
rasp saffron from the sun
and sprinkle it on this path
so the LNG will stay away
and I can still find tomorrow
The Finished Poem
Each opening of the cabinet
they face me again,
last year’s investments,
honey in my shaped jars
I can’t bear to open
or melt them again;
just heft them and fondle
their confined curves
I marvel at crystals
sweet flakes of insight
forgetting they ever
ran fluid in flowers
no need to open,
no melting it down
merely speak their names
to re-enact the afternoons,
the muzzed hour of the bee,
the mother-hungry blooming
The Meaning of Kitchen
Until the spatula
couples with a ladle Read more »
Groundworks volunteers have broken some major ground
By David Parkinson
To date, we have built a tool shed and fence, prepped the fruit-tree holes, put in paths, and built garden-bed frames.
Now we are laying out the garden, transferring our paper plan to the ground. Once this is complete, we can use the materials that have been donated and collected (seaweed, straw, manure and topsoil) to build up the soil for planting. We’ll also finish the physical infrastructure, such as the compost bins and the prep table and maybe some benches.
This season, the garden will be a work in progress, just like every garden!
The youth are currently out on work-experience placement in the community, busy entering the “real” work force. Some of us top up our hours by coming back to the garden to finish up the remaining tasks.
How can you get involved?
We are going to have regular garden work parties every Friday from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.; so you’re invited to come early, bring a lunch and then dig in!
We could use some more garden tools, such as garden forks, rakes, pitchforks, trowels, etc. We are also looking for strawberry plants. Any extras you have from your spring gardening can be dropped off at the Community Resource Centre.
Thanks to the following people and organisations who have helped us out: Julie Bellian, Diana Wood, David Parkinson, Heinz Becker, Len Menard, Adams Concrete, Rona, Therapeutic Riding, Tanglewood Cedar products, Goat Lake Forest products, Rainbow Valley Feed and Supplies, The Garden Tour committee, Kiwanis Club Of Powell River, Work And Play, and Rachel Hilleran.
Get in touch with us by calling 604-414-4868 or email email@example.com.
The Grand-Prize Poems:
First – Justin Campbell, Grade 11
The Locked Box
peace is a locked box, with the key thrown away
without it, our minds, our hearts left astray.
we must find it together, not on our own
connected together, the map will be shown
this map is your heart, your soul and emotion
stay focused and calm, and keep your devotion
soon it will be found, once you becomes we
stay true and hold strong, my friend, you will see
no more of this violence, these shadows, this shame
don’t point a finger—we are all to acknowledge the blame
once we have found it, together, as one
we will be a family, as bright as the sun
hold the key high, hand and hand
to find the box empty, nothing but sand
confusion arises but soon fades away
and then it’s established, and together we’ll stay
peace was found on the journey to discover the key
we have omitted the me and have discovered the we.
Second – Caleb Parkhouse, Grade 3
Peace is a leaf
Gliding through the sky,
As the birds sing a song
In the forest trees.
Peace is the wind,
Blowing in my face.
I take a deep breath,
And my body fills with joy.
Peace is a sunny day.
When a dark day comes and then the sun shines on
by Eva van Loon
History’s most terrible incident of war, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, happened over sixty years ago. The survivors, as they near the ends of their lives, caution us never to forget, and to teach our children to remember. Thus it seems especially poignant to receive in one of this year’s peace-poem-competition packets a translation of a poem by a Japanese international student in Grade 11 at Brooks School, Megumi Oketani:
“Haywa” is peace in Japanese
We swore peace after atomic bombs were released
Our future is babies
We smile more after the fighting ceased
Open a window in my mind
Your love will always bring a smile to my face
People’s happiness comes around like the wind
Under the same sky, joy will not be erased
Our minds must stay as open as the sky
Above Earth’s troubles, we should remain
Do not let the darkness fill our eyes
We cannot be consumed with pain
Our mother is the Earth
We are held as babies in their mothers’ arms
It is warm like a hearth
Even during a disturbance, stay calm
Hopefully, I can attain my good feeling
To bring peace in this world, we will be at ease
Unconsciously, we always seek healing
Yes, for Haywa and peace
There is much wisdom in Megumi’s words: reverence for the planet that bears us like a mother, the refusal to be overwhelmed by pain, sorrow or revenge, the focus on smiling, on children, on healing. Like Megumi, many of our young poets seem to have recovered the lost key to that “locked box” of peace. The anthology is dedicated to them, and to their future. For Haywa, and for peace.
by Eva van Loon
Growing out of the International Peace-Poem Society which began in Hawaii in 1996, the new International Peace-Poem Walkers’ Association (IPPWA) chose as its motto, “Peace and poetry at a human pace.”
The idea of IPPWA is to walk the International Peace Poem--just parts of it, as the whole thing is now over 90,000 lines in length--from one community to the next and to take part in peace-related activities at each destination.
The purposes of the new society include public education about peace and peace-building, as well as publication and promotion of peace poetry. Initial directors are Allan Brown, Randy Pinchbeck, Barb Rees, Lyla Smith, and Eva van Loon.
IPPWA takes on the sponsorship of the Youth Peace-Poem Competition and the publication of the PRIPPA annual anthology of winning poems from that competition.The Live Poets’ Guild, who started the Competition in 2008, will continue to co-ordinate both activities.
The Competition ends with an Awards Ceremony, April 8 at the Max Cameron Theatre, with poetry, lyrics and music. Well known singer-songwriter Valdy will conduct a song-writing workshop and perform with some of the Competition’s participants.
IPPWA welcomes new members and look forward to public support and ideas from the public for showcasing the ideals of peace and poetry.
by Eva van Loon
Englese or English, Chinese or Chinglish, Pidgin or Polish—whatever your language, its poetry flows over your soul like a river of peace.
Let us present a little Water Music from the youngest entrants (Grades 1-3) in this year’s Youth Peace-Poem Competition. These poems are included in PRIPPA 2009: Can You Hear Peace? Get your copy—why not start inventing music around our children’s lovely words?
Love, as rainbows love rain,
as mice love cheese, as boots
love splashing in puddles,
as blueberries love pancakes
—Morgan LaBree, Grief Point School
Times with April
Swimming with April
at a peaceful time of day.
Drying in the sun.
—Matthew Ure, Grief Point
Here I watch the fish pass by
I have fun fishing
—Joey McCullough, Grief Point
Dolphin swim fast
Something blue jumping there
It is fun swimming at the beach
—Camryn Infanti, PR Christian School
Swimming in the lake
Sand squishes between my toes
Scared fish dodge away.
—Sarah Shelton, Grief Point
First Prize—Janelle Critchley
They’re gentle when playing
And pretty as they come
A stream of peace and a forest of love
Critters are running and jumping to play
Butterfly field is the place to stay
The baby foxes come out of their den
And play around with the animals of peace, Raccoon,
Love, Deer, and don’t forget
The animal of joy, Ferret
Second Prize—Rylyn Christensen
Peace is Helping People
Peace is helping people
Peace is kind
Peace is letting people in your games
Peace is taking care of yourself
Third Prize—Morgan Lbree
Love like rainbows love rain
like mice love cheese
like boots love splashing in puddles
like blueberries love pancakes Read more »