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.

A Prayer from the banks of the Motoyasu

I watch as Ma, lights the olive green lantern,
with her river- veined, wrinkled hands
warming its tender growing flame,
and stares into the listless night.
The man who flew the plane had said—
the mushroom cloud looked colored like a rainbow.
But below his kaleidoscopic sky, ablaze like a funeral pyre, 
lay faceless bodies, smelting and black.

Not even the first Oleander’s bloom—
an absent God’s halfhearted apology, could
cajole the clock or dissolve the agony of souls
ripped from flesh and bone, orphaned without a warning.

There are still those who live for Death,
devote their lives to an umbilical betrayal
of  Mother Earth, and of her sons and her daughters,
and twist science for "necessary" slaughter.

We pray they realize the price 
we have paid for their hollow wars,
and chain the incubus they once unleashed,                                                                                                                

to redeem their litany of wrongs.

We dream today of bluebirds, sunshine and joy,                        

Of unburdened, spontaneous, infinite laughter     

 Of the serenity of a loving life well-lived                                                                                            

 in a world of men at peace with one another

As I still-watch the Motoyasu carry tiny flames downstream,
I send my own prayer into the hope-heavy sky,                                                                                              

where the prayers of a million souls entwine                                                                                                                  
and avow to realize this revered dream.

— Adhar Maheshwari


All Poems Submitted to the Contest


Paper Cranes