Wage Peace ~ Mary Oliver (2001)

Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing
blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion
and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening:
hear sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothespins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music,
learn the word thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the out-breath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don’t wait another minute.