A Traveler’s Poem for Peace
By Gabriel Schirm
So much despair, my compass senses in the air.
Bullets, whiz, pop, clash, cling, crash.
Buildings and cities and people,
Turn to ash.
I do not see countries,
But souls I met on travels begone.
Adventures leading to countries,
Roads to cities,
Trails to villages,
Doors to citizens, now friends.
I do not see Thailand, I do not see Paris,
But Aurelia and Claire.
Ami, I met, in a café,
In a wooden chair.
I do not see Beirut, I do not see Ghana,
But Bilal and Mamadou.
Friend, I met, in a market,
With dark skin like midnight.
I do not see Japan, I do not see Germany,
But Jan and Johanna,
Freunde, I met, in my youth,
When I was unaware,
Of borders and pain and bombs,
And the insane.
A traveler stands for peace and pause,
For following a road, for wandering,
For turning country from other,
For teaching and learning,
That you can’t hate a friend.
For mixing, for mingling
For smiling and fun.
Oh traveler, ambassador, friend.
Can we rid the world of evil?
Can ignorance be scorched with light,
And peace and knowledge?
Oh traveler, renegade, wayfaring fool.
Will you turn country into a man, a woman,
Don’t stop your ventures, do not pause.
For bullets will fly, whizzing past.
Bring your country with you in your luggage, in your heart.
Show it to others,
Let them smell it, taste it,
See it, learn it, feel it.
Oh traveler, seeker, you must show them your culture.
Your passport a weapon of peace,
Your being enough.
Shine your representative light on the sheltered,
Ignorant and scared.
For cowards hide in the dark of delusion,
A shadow cast by the untraveled and afraid.
Let us doom them to knowledge,
That what they hate, is a ghastly illusion.
Oh traveler, dreamer, gypsy soul.
A well trodden world, seems less scary,
Shine your travelers light,
In a world of the afraid.