#peacepoetry A collaborative poem by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama

#peacepoetry A collaborative poem by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama March 2022 ~ May 2022


We are crushed still, bulldozed, uneasy.

Give bread, paska, borscht now.

Sink the molten nerves, war hormones.

Pray fair winds, pebbles, sumac delights.

Rachel Corrie flowers, Westbank’s red ruins.


Phan Thi Kim Phuc’s back,

Silent chants, red smoke, orphans cry.

Blue and yellow flurry on Tokyo streets,

“We stand with Ukraine.”  

Fissions of fear, hypersonic glide.

Kent State My Lai Mariupol

Akiko Yosano tells us: Mountains will move,

Shuddering dark loins, tangled hair to lips.


Stoop, Russians, stoop,

War dogs eat death you planted in the fields.

Spit its blood like wastewater.

Smear the gunpowder to sanctify your sword.

But no gun can kill the hills’ brooding smiles,

Butterflies will survive the heavy rains.


When “tactical” dwarfs Hiroshima, Nagasaki,

“Neo-Nazi” is not a name for anyone,

Retreat sends an attack more frenzied than ever.

Poets speak above the silence,

Purify the Meaninglessness

Of words gone Mad.


This ominous cloud

Racial hate in sniper fire.

Your fresh light

Brave in stunning pearls.

Still stubborn as our knees.

Your tenacious love,

Shireen Abu Aqleh.

Vibrant in the storms of black powder rains.

Black stones.

Red shrines.

Coral noctilucence.


Children in Ukraine and Fukushima

Are sick with thyroid cancer,

More than the usual two in a million.

She cries remembering that day a decade ago,

When doctors tell her you’ll die at 23 without surgery,

“I was wearing a new dress and new sandals.”

Old Wounds _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

_ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

the pain throbs
gnarled stuck intestines
wobbly knobs of scars inside
tracing where the knife slashed
to deliver your son
so many years ago
the bleeding has healed

betrayal, forgiven but not forgotten,
sealed lips of hushed kisses,
the chasm of hurt
tugging, tearing at your chest,
has turned into heartbeats
fading with age
just going

da-thump da-thump da-thump
barely murmurs
whispers of skin
you were young then
and had dreams,
not knowing other things,
unlike honor,

can elude,
again, and again,
for skin color, sex, age,
growing used to anonymity
outgrowing disappointment
but old wounds
they hurt like new wounds