I will not mention names

What good would that do


What is done     is done


So many

If I could write down

Their names

In memoriam

Their names would fill

The pages

Of a giant encyclopedia

The one country so brutally


Has the right to defend



When does defense become


Desist     desist

Allow those who are


On either side

Live in peace

Yes     yes

Let those left

Live in peace

CNN World Report (1994)







Editor’s note: As written in the previous post, Wendy has set war at the center of her poetry since the 1960s. As the Russian war on Ukraine enters its second week, we have chosen to upload a selection of (sadly relevant) War Poems that were originally published within her four anthologies. This poem, titled “CNN World Report”, was published in Wendy’s first book of poetry, Poets are the bravest, which was printed in 2001. As Wendy continues her daily meditation practice, she focuses on shrouding the innocent people of Ukraine with healing light, as she prayers for world peace, which has become one of the most valuable and valued aspects of her life’s work.

There they stand

Bunched together

The way little kids will

When they’re excited

In the middle of what

Was once a street

Where shell fire and shrapnel

Make geometric chunks

Out of the pavement now

And the apartment buildings

Behind them

Into relics

Like ones I remember

From allied bombs

In a part of Florence

Near the Ponte Vecchio

Summer of 1951

But here they are

Being interviewed

Children of Sarajevo

Just children being children

In front of a camera

Even when childhood

Is broken

And cannot mend


The calm voice of an interpreter

Rolls on

Above their high pitched


They talk     gesture     poke each other

All at the same time

Reminding me

Of a flock of noisy birds

In a tree

Until one bird voice


Like the song of a blackbird

Rises over the others

Quiets them     silences them

As the camera picks out

A face

Whose eyes look back

Into the camera’s lens

While the interpreter turns Slavic

Into English

And I hear words

From this child of Sarajevo

Form a question

No one in the world

Will answer


We don’t hate anyone

She says

So why can’t they stop

This stupid war


Months pass

I think of them often

I bless them

And I wonder

Are they alive

*From Poets are the bravest, pub. date: 2001
Photo credit: https://bit.ly/3hPuZNI