Whispered prayers, or: Legions

Poetry Partners #83

‘When You Choose War’ a poem by Rosemary McMahan of ‘Spirit Reflections’

... you cannot stop
the Lenten rose’s pale white blossoms
from unfurling
nor can you command
the pink-tinged buds of tulip trees
to fold inward.
When you choose war, know that
the grass still greens in spring,
the titmouse seeks its “peter-peter,”
the black and white cat curls herself
in the dust-moted spill of sun.
When war is your choice, prepare yourself
for deep-souled words that fall from pens
in rivers of black, for multi-colored
hues to unveil themselves like dreams
across acres of blank canvas
for fresh music to lift and scatter
like so many blackbirds
across a sky so bright you will
shield your eyes.
When you choose war, no matter
your imagined power, you cannot
shroud the human spirit
you cannot even destroy love
and loyalty
and while you may—indeed—conceive
tears, never can you thwart
whispered prayers
from ascending in legions
toward all that is more eternal
than you.

A ‘golden shovel’ by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

Deluded, arrogant fool, the Ukrainians never
wanted your senseless war, but they can...
Indeed, they will withstand you.
Even now, your hapless forces thwart
themselves with anxiously whispered 
doubts, as countless, soulfelt prayers 
for their innocent victims pour forth from 
the world's faithful, ascending
ever upwards in
solidarity, emboldening Ukraine's proud legions.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!


List of Poetry Partners

38 thoughts on “Whispered prayers, or: Legions”

  1. Both of your poems are powerfully delivered with a strong message and awareness. When you choose war.. love the title and when you do, you have sold your soul to the devil himself! 💖

  2. Dear David, thank you so much for sharing my poem, or should I say, “our” poem. When the war started, my only power was words, and yet words do, indeed, have power. I very much appreciate the ingenuity with which you used my words to create your response to the poem. May we all continue to create in whatever way we can, shining the Light into the darkness. Again, thank you. With warm regards, Rosemary

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