What is Wrong with You





Tigray     of Northern Ethiopia
Ukraine     borders Russia

They have become the background of
My hours
That seep into my
Hover over my

What is wrong with
Abiy Ahmed
Vladimir Putin

I have deposited you
On the scrolls of
That haunt memories

Millennium to millennium

Your bombs   your tanks
Your soldiers
Willing to follow your
To destroy     Life
As every woman  man

And child
Once Lived it

What is wrong
With you
What cancer
Devours the essence of your

-April 18, 2022

Winter and Spring 2003







Editor’s note: In March 2003, U.S. forces invaded Iraq vowing to destroy Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and end the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein.


My dear

What challenging times these are

Daunting     devastating     incredible

But believable times

We are living in

Has it always been so

Have there always been men

(Notice     I do not include women)

Men who keep threatening

Someone somewhere with something

Men who live inside their heads

Ride their egos to the brink

And isn’t it the rest of us

Who over and over again

Try to pull them back

Perhaps the reason we are here

Do you agree

What a journey it is     my dear

As I follow you through the years

As you light the way

You do light the way     you know

On this upward climb

Like a spiral     a migration circle

Around and around

Higher and higher

And yes     these are challenging times

Yes     it has always been so

How would we learn

How would we grow

How could we become

Who we’ve become

Without them

This is truth     absolute truth

Don’t you agree     my dear

*From Thunder from the Mountains, pub.date: 2007
Photo credit: https://bit.ly/37y9XRP

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




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

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)

Love is the Answer (February 2015)









“The Light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness

apprehended it not.”

The Bible, ASV: John 1:5

I made an intent

To myself

It came from Spirit

From my soul

I do not watch

The news

Do not hear

Do not see


Rained upon


Blood spilled from


Who have done no harm

To anyone


But an email

Creeps onto my screen

I read it before

Realizing its contents

My bewilderment turns to


Bleeds through my


Into the core of my



From where I am


I no longer ask

Why     Why

Does it keep happening

I no longer


How a human being

Can inflict harm

Take life

From a fellow being

Even a child


I have no answers

Never did

I have no power

To stop these acts

But in faith

I ask

Can you love


Deep enough     strongly


To send your love

To everyone     everywhere

In our world

No matter who they


Can we try

Can you     can I


“Love is the answer

To every question” *


Love     Love     Loving

For me

Our Path to Peace


*A Course in Miracles



It usually happened in summertime

Hot humid winds

Out of the west

Blew east

Over the city of Chicago

To the shores of Lake Michigan

Bringing with them

A stench

From the Chicago stockyards

The slaughter houses




A word from my childhood

Spoken by the adults

Around me

The words     stockyard

Slaughter house

I understood surrounded cows

Waiting to be killed

For meat

Now rationed by World War II

It had no impact on me     then


A photograph in a magazine

A holding pen

With cattle crammed together

Waiting for slaughter

Made me sorrowfully aware

Of what the west winds



The Chicago stockyards

The slaughter houses

Long gone

But not holding pens

Slaughter houses

In other places

Cattle crammed so tightly


None hardly move


I have stopped eating meat


There’s a stench


An awful stench


Words from a TV commentator

A congresswoman from the House of


They face a large enclosure

Like a cage     a true


Inside     a hundred or


Immigrant men

Standing shoulder to shoulder

No room to sit     to lie down

To sleep

A few fortunate ones on the


They stand looking out

The TV camera

Records     their faces

Some raise their arms




Seeing these immigrant


Crammed together in that


I think back on my


To the west winds

Blowing to the east

Over Chicago

On hot humid summer


And remember the stench

I remember the stench

And what that stench



I remember



I would hold you close

In my arms

As you grieve your loss

Mother     Father     Siblings

Your family     your home

Witnessing scenes

No child should have to see

No one should have to see

If I could     Child

I would erase these pictures

From your mind

Your mind’s hauntings

Spilling into your dreamworld



You are every child

To me

Who has suffered cruelties

Of war

Cruelties from greed

Cruelties from those who use their power

To take what does not belong

To them

Child     if I could

I would explain such behavior

To help you understand

I cannot

For I do not understand

Never will     never will


But Child     this I do know

With certainty

Love is the Healer

And I Love you



… 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