Whereas 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?