Paper Cranes

Poetry for Peace Contest

The Poetry for Peace contest was held from 15 September until 14 October 2011. The winners were anounced at a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York.

Below is one of the contest entries.

Reading the Signs

Past my window
scuds another dense scribble of cloud,
its tangled Arabic script of Atlantic sadness
a depression heading East.
Blotted in mist, a bright horizon justifies
the heavy paragraph overhead
that flounders in ambiguity and a glut
of subordinate clauses.
 
Here on the ledge sits a griffin,
man-dragon, legs crossed,
his fire quenched in a book.
He is reading of war, the cooking
of human flesh, how countless children choked
on a diet of razors, of his part in it all.
He was not there, of course, but he reads
of responsibility, his history.
 
He is calm, perusing the book
of someone else’s mind, seeing
in clouds, stars, shadows, eyes
the truth of who we are, accepting it
and learning why, long before conflict,
in the beginning
was the word.


— Harry Owen
 

 


All Poems Submitted to the Contest

 

Paper Cranes