Anti-War Haiku Wall


Circa 2000:

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.

Circa 2003:

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.

candleglow ~
the rose at the door




Copyright authors, 2003