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by April Halprin Wayland

“It is an historic milestone of immense proportions. It has never happened before—never in human history—and it is happening now—every day—every hour—waging peace through a global conversation…”
~ paraphrased from a March, 2003 speech by Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, now Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Peace in Costa Rica

Passing cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.,
a cab driver teaches the chorus of a peace song

to the woman with freckled arms from Malibu,
who gives him a big tip and runs up the hotel stairs two at a time
to write a letter to the editor

who tilts back in his squeaky chair and reads it
by the light from his arched window and then publishes her letter

which my uncle Chucky reads in Anchorage,
inspiring him to write a peace poem on the blackboard

which Ruthie reads, whispering it to herself twice,
then copies down on notebook paper,
folds, puts in her back pocket,
and when she gets home, smoothes out and emails

to Renee in Sweden
who !!!!loves!!!! it and immediately !!!!forwards!!! it
to Finley in Hong Kong, Alice in New York,
Fadi in Beirut, Lyra in Moscow,

and Bruce near Netanya,
who reads it at a candlelight vigil by the beach

which is broadcast to Saralee in Buenos Aires
(petting Spartacus, who is shedding all over the bed),

who phones Ross, telling him to turn on the radio,
Good old Ross, who is eating soft vanilla ice cream as he listens,
Ross, who takes out a napkin and his guitar,
and turns it into a song

*   *   *

This,” Dr. Muller says, “is a miracle. This is what ‘waging peace’ looks like.”

Included in LINES IN THE SAND—New Writing on War and Peace,
edited by Mary Hoffman and Rhiannon Lassiter (Frances Lincoln, 2003)—
American version 2003 from Disinformation Company

folksinger Ross Altman

folksinger Ross Altman


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