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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 19, Number 1, September 2006

No wall high enough

Don’t you get it?
Don’t you understand?
There are no walls high enough
No doors thick enough
No guns big enough
No tanks strong enough
No bombs that can kill enough
No means to kill all the enemies
Or even for now
And there are no security checks at airports that will
Save the powerful, the greedy, the innocent or the holy
From death should it be loosed into the sky
As Margaret Atwood has said,
"Whole armies have prayed fervently throughout the night,
And meant it, and have been killed the next day"
War is not the answer
Death cannot bring forth life
Imagine spending billions or even trillions of dollars/pounds/euros/yen
On making sure that everyone has a home, water, food
On making HIV/AIDS medicines free to all around the world
On making poverty history as we say in our campaigns
On providing space for healing between Israelis and Palestinians
Between First Nations and those who live on their land
Between fundamentalists and moderates
How does it start?
One person puts down their gun
Another puts down theirs
Four and then 40 put down theirs
And they do not wait for the bombers to do the same
Like the non-violent movements of the many centuries
Someone has to start
They create community choirs, healing circles, study each others pains and dreams
They think of the future for all the children of the world as Raffi says
They write poems together late into the night...a universal Mushaira for life
They bake bread together in ovens that they have built
Their children marry each other
They respect all traditions of peace, no matter the origin, the theologies or the languages
They lay in the road in front of tanks and on runways and generally become a non-violent nuisance in their communities
They become raging Grannies
They become Veterans for Peace
They turn war museums into peace museums
They never stop
They demand the public monies are used to create National Departments of Peace
They sing
Oh how they sing

– Dr. Budd L. Hall

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