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.
Night on Patrol The velvet lowering of night, The stars hang golden, furry bright Against a backdrop blue, then black As God takes daylight's blessings back And so the tracker's day must end As light now fails, and troopies bend To peer for tripwires in the gloom, For broken grasses, signs of doom To find a place that's safe to rest But not to sleep; no need to test God's infinite patience with our cause No sense to challenge nature's laws So rocky cleft must guard the back With face turned out towards the track Deep shadowed from all passers by While starlight limns them 'gainst the sky This blissful night, he'll try to doze Fretfully, sentries on their toes Harking for variance in sound Whilst Africa cacophonies 'round Its hunters, now awake and sharp; The leopard's cough, the jackal's bark Hyenas, giggling obscene The nightjar's screech The victim's scream Christ! Is that animal or man? No, just a tree out on the pan As jumbo takes his evening feed And transforms branch to ragged reed Even at war, this mighty land Can soothe the soul, caress the hand In tiny fragments comes the peace That gives the soldier second lease On all the nights he once loved well Before this spiral into Hell When campfire's warmth, and whisky's glow Brought mellow mood. As sun sank low Against a sky so vast, so pure That man could scarcely e'en endure The beauty of Rhodesia's eve He sat there, watching firelight weave Soft dancing shadows, magic sky, Blue velvet curtain, draped from high Soon smothering raging reds and golds As night, then thought so safe, unfolds But now, he holds his rifle tight With one eye open, poised to fight, His muscles ache, his soul's so sore To see such glory scarred by war Yet memories of those quiet nights past Still fuel his dreams of peace at last.
— Richard Fenner
All Poems Submitted to the Contest