Poetry Peace Vigil
"It is the duty of every poet to speak fearlessly and clearly."
- Sam Hamill

Mary Beth Young


Beyond the candle-flame, quiet room,
Beyond the Sunday religion observed,
Beyond the departed-laid-to-rest,
Breathes the focus of life's intent.


Grocery lines, twelve carts deep.
Grocery lines, twelve carts deep.
Herds of wild buffalo long ago deceased,
Anguished screaming chorus no one escapes,
Question-less answers revealed through faith,
Hard crack of childhood endlessly betrayed,
Soaring bird song as you lift your gaze,
Tenderhearted kindness unbound by need,

Flickering stars impossible to reach.
Within the calm,
Within the storm,
Within unending devastation,
Within the smallest tip of hairbrush bristle,
Peace vibrates eternal.

Beth wrote this poem in Georgia Popoff’s “Beginning Poet’s Workshop”
at the Downtown Writer’s Center. In response to the prompt “to answer a burning question,” Beth asked “when will there be peace?” This poem was the result.