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The King’s Peace

September 20, 2022

My poem, The King’s Peace, was kindly included by the editors in Flights of the Dragonfly’s FLIGHTS e-Journal Issue 4 earlier this year. It’s one of a series of poems I’m developing about peace and conflict in respect of specific geographic locations and moments in history.

The King’s Peace

To keep his peace, our king built temples,
courts and palaces, and scarred
the land he’d won, with ditches, ports
and roads; determined how we die;
and blessed us with his enmities.

To teach us irony, he named
his cousins lords and justices.
Apprised of God’s mistake by priests
and clerks, on pain of punishment
he made us speak a single tongue.

His word was written, maps were drawn.
But laws and maps and roadways lengthened
distances, and when he sailed,
he left no instrument through which
to see, but a kaleidoscope.

We turn and turn its wheels but cannot
make the fractured picture whole.

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