The Poetry of Presence Book Bash was held at the Brookings (SD) Arts Council this past Saturday. In addition to great music by Green & Snow and delicious food, we enjoyed poetry readings from the book and the drawing of whimsical door prizes. Contributing poet Marianne Murphy Zarzana joined us from Minnesota for the occasion. She not only shared her anthologized poems but had a vital role in a wonderful experiment.
During the Bash we invited everyone to jot down a wish for the world and drop it into one of the many collection bowls around the room. With about twenty minutes left in the event, we gathered all the wishes that had been offered. Marianne retreated with them to a quiet place and creatively assembled them into a community poem, which she read to conclude the Bash. It was a very powerful experience.
We want to thank Marianne for her willingness to engage in this adventure. Thanks, too, to those “Bashers” who contributed to the making of the poem, which Marianne titled “Our Wish for the World.”
We’ll be finding various ways to share this poem with the public. For now, we’re happy to share it with you. Feel free to download your own copy here. Maybe share it with a friend? Remember: “The end of the poem is just the beginning.”
Our Wish for the World
We wish the world would turn
from force toward feeling,
that everyone could be fed—
body, mind and soul.
We wish we could approach
our problems and conflicts
by tapping deep into our creativity.
We wish that all could feel the sun
of friendship warm upon their faces,
that we could see and speak of the beauty
around us and within all people.
We wish that we could put ourselves into the shoes
of those around us, walk at least a mile,
that kindness, compassion and peace
received more attention than
hatred and greed.
We wish our skin color and gender did not
matter, that we could all be accepted
for exactly who we are.
We wish the stuff that is no longer alive
could come back to life, resurrect.
We wish that we could learn to create
common ground rather than standing
only on our own ground.
We wish that we could transform
terror, watch it disappear,
that we could let go of all the distractions
that keep us separate and lonely.
We wish we could be grateful
for everything, and be kind
to every living creature.
We wish we could forgive ourselves
and others, and we could all