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.


It was a normal morning filled with rushing currents and blaring bomb drills,
A child or two splashed in my banks,
The shelter nearby was filled with food
Beggars sang in the streets,
And the butterflies never saw it coming.

One or two scares later the street was full of people.
The sun shined bright over me.
A parachute fell to the streets.


Radiation raged through me,
Contaminating me.
Hot anger swept the people aside,
To make way for war.

I will never understand the meaning,
The preparation,
The outcome.
But all that was left was a riptide of blood,
A pile of corpses,
And the stench of human disgrace in the air.

— Grace Stempel


All Poems Submitted to the Contest


Paper Cranes