A Poetic Experiment in Hope
A recent interruption of my activist impulses by the power of poetry inspired me to do what I haven’t done in at least 10 years: write a poem. This came as a great gift, on Thanksgiving day no less, because I have come to believe that sometimes it is poetry which can communicate life as “sign” and “wonder” in a way that prose cannot. To be specific, living in South Korea and serving with the Mennonite Central Committee in engaging North Korea as well, it can be difficult these days to communicate hope about healing the divide. But a visit to a small sign of hope inside the (heavily-militarized) Demilitarized Zone near the border inspired this poem, which I claim (in faith) as primary reality.
On a Visit to the Border Peace School
But I saw the majestic red-crowned crane.
As tanks nearby and the tumult of nations clamored all around —
South, north, west, east —
For the first time, in the DMZ of all places, I saw the legendary crane.
And I heard a prophet whisper “peace …. someday soon,”
As he slipped away to pray on a mountain nearby.
Thanksgiving Day, Korea, 2016