Anti-War Haiku Wall
In my city a wall was erected on the shoreline to
commemorate the millennium and on it are 60,000 names. Beside almost every
name there is a symbol of one sort or another; the cross of Jesus, the
star of David, an angel or, most frequently a dove bearing an olive twig.
People purchased a place on the wall to commemorate being alive at the
turn of the century.
On the evening of March 16. as war becomes imminent
I had been unable to organise a vigil for peace; a vigil which would link
all peoples as it had on that New Year's morning. But felt desperate and
impelled to do something and so as evening drew in and the appointed hour
approached I wrapped myself up well and gathered as many candles as I
could find from the house and took them down to this wall of life. The
very last block of the wall remains not filled. Before it I placed my
candles. They spread onto the footpath and when lighted shone in the marble
to my right. But before me on the dull blank wall the light caste shadows.
A chill wind had come up from the seashore as I stood there thinking this
was such a small gesture I could make for all the living names on the
wall and more importantly for all who faced a bleak future; not the joy
and excitement we had experienced for the turn of the century three short
years ago. In that glorious moment of silence when the sun shone briefly
on this beach that New Year's morning. And the crowd all rushed forward
to greet the sun before the clouds came down like a grey misty blanket.
It was a moment measured with perplexities, so brief, yet people walked
home in that dawn tired but full of hope.
Candles flicker at my feet in the growing dusk. It
is spitting with rain and I run to the car with one last candle, a red
scented one which, when I got home I stood on the kitchen table. I made
a hot drink and sat in the candleglow. In the morning I rose to be enfolded
by the sweet scentedness of the candle which had filled the whole house.
I opened the door to a morning dampness and the heavy aroma of the last
of my summer garden. Peace for me was both a light and an aroma.
The candle is long lasting. Each evening I light
the candle. Sometimes during the night it flickers out.
the rose at the door