ProclamationWhereas the world is a house on fire;

Whereas the nations are filled with shouting;

Whereas hope seems small, sometimes

    a single bird on a wire

    left by migration behind.

Whereas kindness is seldom in the news

    and peace an abstraction

    while war is real;

Whereas words are all I have;

Whereas my life is short;

Whereas I am afraid;

Whereas I am free - despite all

    fire and anger and  fear;

Be it therefore resolved a song

    shall be my calling - a song

    not yet made shall be vocation

    and peaceful words the work

    of my remaining days.

 (c)  Kim Stafford

  • Begin a poem with the word Whereas. Repeat the word Whereas at least eight times. See where it leads you.
  • As you look around at the state of the world, how do you feel called to respond? What will be the work of your remaining days?
  • Write a poem or prose piece that explores the meaning of "peaceful words."  What have you discovered?