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Complicity Bombs

Like bombs exploding
    Deep below the surface
    Of anyone's consciousness,
I long to travel deep,
To hear finally
    With my heart
    What God is asking
        Of me
        Of us…

God gets to be quite
    Pushy these days -
    The quiet, whispering
Sound, relentlessly
        Still . . . (as with Elijah?)

Rachel crying:
    “You're killing my baby!”
Refusing to act
    Smells of complicity.

    - Fr. Jerry Zawada, OFM, 2007


Peace takes walking so we walk
When we are colonized by grief
When we are invaded by terror
When we are occupied by anger
When we are refugees from memory
When we want to have faith in spring
In beginning
Peace takes walking
So we walk
When we feel defeated
When we question whether we matter
When we are just surviving
When we wonder why we are doing this?
When we want to find our own path
Peace takes walking and so we walk
And the rain falls and the wind blows
And the sun burns our eyes with its heat
And we feel our feet
And our hearts beat
And it is hard and we are slow
And we don’t know where to go
And we see ourselves for the first time
And we see each other for the first time
And we see the land for the first time
Peace takes walking and it takes time
And we have time
To hope and we are freed from limitations
And it is a prayer
And we walk from our daily lives
Into different places and we heal the earth
And we walk
Together, alone with direction, with abandon
Carefully, gently deliberately, with passion,
until one day we find
that we have walked home
and there is peace

by Laurie Pollack

Laurie has been a participant in NDE's Peace Walk.



140,000 SECONDS

by Henry Howard
written for the August Desert Witness 2006 liturgy

Take a deep breath before Mercury Gate,
And hold it for 140,000 seconds.
Inhale the pain of the wounded earth.
She is our Mother, and she is dying
Of Emphysema, Lung Cancer, Heart disease
And radiation sickness,
As the Doomsday Clock ticks off her final hours.

Touch the rich, red desert soil;
It is our mother’s poisoned blood.
Hold the smooth rocks;
They are our mother’s bones
Where the poison struck deep.

Stage a die-in on either side of the fence,
And lie cheek-by-jowl with the radioactive sand
For 140,000 seconds.
Feel our Mother’s poisoned cells
Course through your fingers
And penetrate deep inside your own tissues.

Then, if you are able,
Empty your mind for 140,000 seconds,
And meditate on that many lives
Who turned to dust
In Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What does it mean to meditate for that long?
Each second is a child’s frightened eyes,
A mother’s soothing voice,
A father’s care-worn face that can still crack a smile
At the end of a long day,
A grandmother’s slender hands of steel
That will never drop you,
Turned to radioactive dust
140,000 times over.

The Doomsday Clock advances
Towards a midnight that will never herald
The start of a bright new day.

Seven minutes to midnight.
America and Iraq are at war.
Five minutes to midnight.
America and Afghanistan are at war.
Three minutes to midnight.
Israel and Hamas are at war.
Two minutes to midnight.
Israel and Hezbollah are at war.
One minute to midnight.
India and Pakistan have the bomb.
Thirty seconds to midnight.
North Korea might have the bomb,
And the U.S. is threatening nuclear retaliation!
Ten seconds to midnight!
Iran may or may not want the bomb,
And the U.S. is threatening nuclear retaliation!
First the clock will stop.
Then our hearts will stop.
Then the world will stop.

In Livermore and Los Alamos and Moscow,
Tons of aging plutonium soak the radioactive earth
And poisoned air,
Only scant miles from earthquake faults.

Behind rusting fences easy for terrorists to climb,
Tempting stockpiles are ripe for theft,
Or sale to the highest bidder.
As salaries fall and economies fail,
Scientists and soldiers, now cast aside
Like excess plutonium, do the math
And figure the dollars or rubles they need to feed their families.

The land is stolen from the Native people,
Destined to become “collateral damage.”
Twelve years of above-ground blasts rip the desert!
Twelve years of radioactive dust creep downwind.
Fallout claims the young, the elderly, the rich, the poor,
The known and unknown.
Even John Wayne is not spared.

The trucks with their leaking containers of death
Criss-cross the nation,
Looking for a place, any place, to unload their witch’s brew.
The hour grows late. The sun sets behind mushroom clouds.
The hands of the Doomsday Clock meet at the stroke of midnight.

There is still time to turn the clock back.
Here on this very spot where the burnt earth cries,
The Nevada Test Site
Can become a proving ground of Peace.
Here where endless bombs roared,
Sing 140,000 songs of quiet resolve.

If everyone on earth made 1,000 paper cranes
For the 140,000 victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
Who would have the time to make more bombs?
If six billion people prayed for peace for 140,000 seconds,
One at a time before the next person could start,
And no one could fire a single bomb
Until everyone was finished,
We could turn the Doomsday Clock back
For 24 hours before midnight,
One whole day
That equals centuries of healing peace!



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