Waxwing Poems for Peace
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Every Month since September 11, 2001 for about two years, John F. Deane sent out
a Waxwing Poetry Card, containing poems by him and by poet friends, urging peace
and the total abolition of war. These went out to some 100 poets and writers every
month. Now the idea has been renewed and will develop on this site. Urging
thinking on the possibility of the total abolition of war. Our world again appears to
be wallowing under violence, war and the threat of violence and war.

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States urged a new
awareness of the danger posed to the human race under the negative, violent and
heartless programme he had outlined.
Abolishing War or Abolishing Humanity:

"All war and not just nuclear war abolishes humanity at least in part, and not just the humanity of the obvious losers
on both sides, of the killed and bereaved, of the disabled, displaced and disgraced. The survivors, nay the triumphant,
are diminished, dehumanised by their experiences of the horrors on the frontline or by their lack of such experiences
in their comfortable military or political offices. Sending people to fight and kill and die by remote control and for
reasons scarcely intelligible to those fighting, killing and dying, is already to anaesthetise a significant section of one's
human feeling and insight. Even the mere observers, listeners and readers of television, radio and newspapers are at
risk of having their sensibilities dulled and their tolerance of human horrors enlarged. In a world of global
communications nobody is untouched or unsullied by war. As the war propaganda heats up and the home forces
become heroes beyond all reasonable criticism while the enemy forces (and people) are reduced to barbarians,
another 'mutually assured destruction' of the humanity of both sides is at work."

Enda McDonagh "Immersed in Mystery" Veritas (2007)
 www.veritas.ie
Waxwing Poems for Peace is offering new poems to urge further
awareness and thinking of the urgency of the world situation in 2017
The Poem of the Goldfinch


Write, came the persistent whisperings, a poem
on the mendacities of war. So I found shade
under the humming eucalyptus, and sat,
patienting. Thistle-seeds blew about on a soft breeze,
a brown-gold butterfly was shivering on a fallen
ripe-flesh plum. Write your dream, said Love, of the total
abolition of war. Vivaldi, I wrote, the four
seasons. Silence, a while, save for the goldfinch
swittering in the higher branches, sweet, they sounded,
sweet-wit, wit-wit, wit-sweet. I breathed
scarcely, listening. Love bade me write but my hand
held over the paper; tell them you, I said,
they will not hear me. A goldfinch swooped,
sifting for seeds; I revelled in its colouring, such
scarlets and yellows, such tawny, a patterning
the creator himself must have envisioned, doodling
that gold-flash and Hopkins-feathered loveliness. Please
write, Love said, though less insistently. Spirit,
I answered, that moved out once on chaos. . . No, said Love,
and I said Michelangelo, Van Gogh, No,
write for them the poem of the goldfinch and the whole
earth singing, so I set myself down to the task.

John F. Deane
“In the face of imminent despair or
consumerist stupefaction, nothing else
finally remains but to see the world and
life in the light of hope for perfect justice
and definitive reconciliation and to insist
on it. Therefore the cry of Kyrie eleison in
this world will never be silenced, but will
continually grow louder. That this cry
can and may be voiced publicly belongs
to the cultural legacy of the human race;
it belongs to a culture of justice and
mercy and to the humanitarianism of a
truly free society” - Walter Kasper
Waxwing
Boat People

Wintertime: Our noses drip,
Our throats are raw,
We cough into the night.
But our beds are warm,
No one calls us out to the cold,

While they,
On the unfenced sea,
Watch one another sicken and die,
Praying to their God or gods
That somewhere there might be mercy.


Pádraig J Daly
The Shoals

Sometimes, along these storm-shattered shores,
the gifts of flotsam: staves and spars for the ovens,
chattels and goods from the world of grasp
and plunder. Sometimes, too, a human frame

tangled in ropes or tattered fishing-nets.
The monks blessed them, like new-borns, with holy water,
they knelt a while and prayed, dug
graves on the further headland, marked them out

with stones and gave them names: Alma, Magnus, Nox. . .
They wrapped what was left of body
in shroud or winding-sheet while God stood over all,
harvesting in love and sorrow the many worlds

he had created, spirits shoaling through space like herring,
the souls of the monks washed through with wonder.

John F. Deane