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A Piece of Peace

My poem below, “A Piece of Peace,” reflects upon over forty years of  maturing after a combat tour in Vietnam in 1970.  I am looking forward to the release of a new movie called “From War to Wisdom” which describes this journey which many combat vets make.  The poem was prompted by my recent gathering of Delaware veterans and friends of veterans to form the Interfaith Veterans Workgroup.  The purpose of IVW is to help veterans transition successfully from active duty to civilian life, and to work together to promote justice and peace in their communities.  If you are a Delaware veteran or know of a friend who is and who might like to connect with IVW, please contact me (see the Contact tab on this website).

A Piece of Peace
closeup of red rose budMy counterpart did me a kindness:
Sensing I was getting toasted,
     for in-country R&R
          he led me to a place where a papa-san was keeping roses.
I bent to touch one,
     tiny, fragile, the color of blood,
          a piece of peace.
When a diver goes deep he comes up slowly or explodes.
So I moved to Miami, which mirrored the ‘Nam: hot, humid, sauteed in adrenaline.
It was harder to leave the deep than I had imagined.
But on the way up I fell into silence with Quakers
     and found some solace there,
          a piece of peace.
I do confess, a little danger still stirs my blood.
Home now, my wife and i march with orange-clad Peace Keepers
     where shooters have wounded or killed,
          praying with grievers, planting seeds of hope,
               trying our best to be a piece of peace.
     — TCDavis


  1. Excellent poem, deep in philosophy and spirituality. I once wrote, when the past has been bad, we learn by forgetting; we search the present for our hope of the future. We used to sing a song that had a line, “In the sea of God’s forgetfulness, that’s good enough for me.” It referred to our sins and God’s grace, but I also believe that we can take what happened to us in the past and mold it like pliable clay into a vessel that is beautiful…throw out what harms the clay, glaze and fire the finished product, and there stands the beautiful vessel that came from our works. You are doing God’s work, Brother Davis.

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