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

An Overview of the New Administration (1968)


Editor’s note: The 1968 United States elections were held on November 5, and elected members of the 91st United States Congress. The election took place during the Vietnam War, in the same year as the Tet Offensive, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and the protests of 1968. The Republican Party won control of the presidency. … Republican former Vice President Richard Nixon defeated Democratic incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey. [Source: Wikipedia https://bit.ly/3pUyAOO] The following poem was written amidst the frustration, anger, and fear that permeated American hearts and homes.


Who will give warning this time

Is there anyone who will take the hot coals

Into the hands and throw them into the winds

And let the hot ashes fall onto the ground


There isn’t any corn to feed the children now

Only stubble of stalks and hard dry skeletons of silk

If you put your ear to the ground

You will hear the far off rumble of voices

Once there was a time we could hear the corn grow

Now it is the rumble of voices that gathers the harvest

Now the rumble of discontent grows into black clouds

That pour the hailstones into our outstretched hands

That melt into nothing


There is no one to give warning

No one to listen

The rumble we hear from the earth

Has grown into a roar and spreads like lava

Over the ground

And soon the ashes from Watts and Chicago and Harlem

The hunger of children and the tears of Vietnam

Are swept away

And all that is left is the wound into which

We all will bleed


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




Aleppo, Syria




*Editor’s note: Wendy has set war at the center of her poetry since the 1960s. Another war has begun, and nobody knows when or how it will end. These days, Wendy processes, and often transmutes, her feelings about war, about violence of all kinds, in prayer, even though her feelings are no less strong than they ever were when she was writing about war. She and I agreed that re-publishing older poems in this format serves her readers in that they can continue benefitting from her sensitivity, awareness, compassion, and prayers while she can continue working towards peace in what has become a more productive manner–via meditation and prayer. We hope that these republished poems offer some solace, feelings of connection, and motivation to work through these tough times in your own creative ways. 


Child of Aleppo

Caught in the earth

Caught in debris

Where a bomb


Hands digging frantically

To release you

As other hands


Brush dirt

Brush dust

From your face

To keep the miracle

Of your breath


While you lie still

Your eyes closed

No cry     no whimper



And then

The cameras follow


To when you stand


Wearing clean clothes

To show the world

This little girl from


Alive and beautiful

As beautiful a child

As ever seen

(February 2, 2014)

For Now

I cannot put my words


It is as if they are trapped

Inside my brain

Words I need

To express my distress

Feelings of disbelief

And if I am truthful


At what is being allowed

In the unraveling of my country’s


I cannot get the words out

Write them down

Will have to let other voices

Be heard

Other voices exclaim

The anger     bewilderment


Like silt building up

In the pristine waters

Of a mountain stream

I will listen

Follow where they lead

Trusting it be

Into the light of reason



For now

My hibiscus blooms large scarlet discs

Under my window


For now

I watch crazy flights

Of a Phoebe bird

As it snaps up insects

On the wing

Am mesmerized

By these different sized evergreens

On a hill

Above the Camino Real

Swaying as one

In the wind


For now

Music     laughter

Kind voices from anyone


Human and animal

Voices of my children

My True Love

Sounds from my own world

The only real word now

For me

A Different Light

Light from this day


Into approaching dusk

I watch it clinging


To green leaves of the

Crepe Myrtle

To scarlet blossoms

On the hibiscus

The far off hills

And as it darkens

Out my window


Inside my room

The bedside lamp is


Creating a different


Mellow warmth

Caresses the walls

And a feeling of being

Cocooned    shielded

From political storms

Settles in me

As I greet the coming


In grateful    Peace





… Listen    listen

To the children

Those who are like flower buds

Opening     as they are

Into their adulthood

Listen to them

You who close your minds

Your hearts

To give them safety

Safety through laws

That could prevent them

Ever having to witness


In what was the cocoon

Of their school


It is time     it is past


To ban weapons built

Only to kill     to destroy

Where does your intent


You who are labeled maker of


Do you use your powers

Of office

To bolster the existence of

Assault weapons


Will you listen to the children

Will you listen

As you never listened to their elders

And act on what needs


Ban the assault guns

Ban them     ban them



                                   photo credit


Thus It Is So

Beethoven composes his majestic Ninth Symphony

Mozart the sacred Requiem

Handel his powerful Messiah

Poverty is alive all around them

And children go hungry


Every age     every millennium

Carries suffering

Gives birth to those who live

Impelled to help

Gives birth to those who choose

To turn away

Leaving their powers for change


Like a blade of sea grass

Pulled with the tide

Into the deepest depth

Of the ocean

Thus it is so



If Only I Could

Do you not see   truly see
Faces of children
Caught in the middle of war
As they witness     as they experience
Cruelty exploding around them
Their eyes wide with fear
Faces expressing bewilderment
Frozen in terror

Do you not feel   truly feel
A silent war like an infection
Coursing through the blood stream
Of our country
For me    guns are the virus
Gunshots into a crowded concert
At innocents in a store
A school yard   a movie theater
To claim a religion   an ideological
It is war   wherever guns are used
To kill   to maim   to terrify
I abhor them
Would outlaw guns
If only I could

The Innocents

I open wide

A special door

To a special room

In my heart

For children

I do not know

But whom I love

Children abused


Ones made to


Children caught

In war

Innocents maimed

Innocents dying

Bless their souls

Oh bless them


They are like a field

Of flowers

Scattered in the wind

Some survive

To grow again

Others never return

Leaving their presence

Their beauty

To remain in my


Live in my heart


To forget them


After St. Francis — Prayer of Peace



I too ask

Make me an Instrument of Your


I too would sow love

Where there is hatred


Where intolerance


Where doubt keeps some


In night’s darkest


I would sow Faith

Where despair brings some

To their knees

I would sow Hope


Oh Lord

I will do my best

For those who are inconsolable

To lead them to You

To be consoled

To ask my spirit for understanding

So that I understand in depth

Their need for understanding

Above all

To love unconditionally

Al Your children     everywhere

No exceptions

And not ask to be loved

Myself               Amen