A common space for harmonic peacemakers
the day that they turned old enough
my brothers went to war,
the same way that our father did before us.
when the army sent them overseas
they seemed pretty glad to go,
with their uniforms and guns they looked decorous.
but the hardships of a soldier's life
never called out to me,
i was buddha, i could see,
i was moses on the hill,
with no commandments,
though i felt sure that cosmic lore
was looking out for me and would never be denied,
i had a restlessness to still
and a longing to fulfil
and i couldn't say what that signified.
so i set off most cheerfully,
the love of God to find,
my eyes were round and kind
my hands were soft and fine
and people that i met
were the kind of folk who get
over sadness and sorrow very quickly.
for some time things looked promising,
i felt like i was free,
it was happening for me,
my saintly guarantee,
the plum was ripe and ready for my picking.
then in this time of wandering
i heard about a man
who was showing what it meant
to get everything you can out of life
and find the meaning for existing.
when i asked him for the thing he knew,
he taught me most freely,
he had generosity and encouragement for me,
his desire to set me free was all persisting.
but that strange sense of restlessness
meant more than i had known.
wasn't just a noise
that dogs make when barking.
it was every way this strange world has
to destroy the peace of mind
and the innocence of children to darken.
you may say i got more
than i bargained for,
to put it succinctly,
his whole priority
was to awaken.
he said, 'one day you will know why
i started early as i did.'
and i learned how far along i had been taken.
you can dream about a holiday,
look forward all the year,
but when the time draws near,
the true reality
is far greater than the sum of all imaginings.
though i did not know it at the time,
i joined the ranks that day.
a place was made for me
and i became
a soldier of the heart.
by Chris Hammerton
Thanks Desmond, it's timely!