January 12, 2012

"Conversational Haikus"

by John Paul Lederach

i.
Ordinary folk
Compass intact and
Voices dusted off

ii.
Shed the amnesia
Listen to the forgotten
Be, where people are

iii.
We want our humanity back
Glimpse of the true world.

iv.
Trauma strips us bare
Unfortunate awakening
Our wholeness begins

v.
Belongers. Others.
None see me, yet I bid the
Loving hands of God

vi.
Dear Sojourner Truth,
Welcome home!  We beg you, stay!
No lumpy grits here.

vii.
Shadow and Beauty
A mirror to see ourselves
We have to hold up?
We have to hold up!
A mirror to see ourselves
Beauty and Shadow

viii.
Some people carry
Their suffering without fear —
Grace-filled-Activists

ix.
A new narrative
Descending into the heart
Crystallizes questions

x.
Off his bow, echoes
Johann Sebastian Bach
Still rings in our ears

xi.
Human history:
Ten thousand acts of kindness
The Why river flows

xii.
What shall you pursue?
To speak without fear
And with those who will resist

Epilogue
Ancestors beckon:
Be true to your deep calling
And gift your children

© John Paul Lederach. These poems are reprinted with permission of the author.

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is Professor of International Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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