The Vanity of Peace

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Peace, is it merely absence of conflict, the
downside of twenty-first century living or
nothingness that awaits to consume us?

I put the city in my rear-view mirror, feel
as hearts of passersby turn to dust, they
say peace comes from within but what if
the mind’s blurred by sorrow and pain?

The lights dimly glow in the distance, a
white owl lone in the belfry sits, is peace
only achieved by violence, and by blood
splattered on streets or is it attained by

Who are they as a game of cats and mice,
we cannot name them, nor can we defeat
their lies, teachings say that peace’s a gift
but something inside of me refuses that
saccharine swig.

Peace, is it merely absence of conflict, the
downside of twenty-first century living or
nothingness that awaits to consume us?


Photo credits: Pinterest

β€œThere can be no peace without, but through peace within. Society must be an expression
of the souls of its members.” – W. E. Channing

Posted for “Sunday Challenge” @ Real Toads

Posted on the Poetry Pantry @ Poets United

58 Replies to “The Vanity of Peace”

  1. Thanks Sanaa — I’m not sure this is quite satire — bitter tasting for sure but the anger under wraps. Who made a mockery of our peace? Don’t they deserve someone stepping on their tail, if only for a moment? Maybe its impossible to war with war-mongers and peace-fakers.

  2. As I heard when young… fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.
    What disturbs me most is that lies, the cause that never exists.

  3. I don’t believe it’s called fighting so much as defending in many cases. Bullies will kill and maim and hurt and control. Defense is not that. But HOW do we come about peace – certainly not by NOT defending. Do you really think those prone to violence will lay down their weapons? Don’t get me wrong – I hate war – but well – again – here we much have “that” discussion and figure out a solution, remembering that extremes are rarely good.

    Sigh. Peace is not nothingness – it IS love. And think of a mother – she will defend her child – it comes instinctively. IS that not love, is that not defense?

  4. Sadly we ordinary people are but pawns or cannon fodder (as the old expression goes). We are expendable when fighting is necessary to maintain influence, hold onto territory or assist an ally that can’t defend themselves. Occasionally we may have to defend our own land which is justifiable. Wherever we are, there are those that profit from conflict, the manufacturers and traders, the politicians and financiers that exploit the situation to their own benefit. We are an ugly race of animals.

  5. “I put the city in my rear-view mirror, ” – my favourite line!

    the city is never at peace – too many of us squabbling for space – and why then do we wonder about the impossibilities of world peace

    1. Indeed! It is as Mother Teresa says; “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

  6. I do like the serious themes your poetry is exploring lately, Sanaa. The last stanza asks a question that is worth exploration…just exactly what is peace & at what cost.

  7. A very thoughtful and thought provoking query….I believe it comes from within even in and especially in the midst of sorrow and pain. We have to make a choice to transcend the pain, to grow peace from connecting with our true selves where love resides.

  8. Precious little peace, within or without, these days. It is said there can be no peace without social justice. And there can be no social justice with corporations, billionaires and gun lobbyists running everything. Sigh. I, too, like the serious themes your recent poems are exploring, Sanaa.

  9. You poem is food for thought, will there ever be a time of no conflict? Humans will always find something to fight over. Many leaders are greedy with their own personal agendas.

  10. It is important to be able to define peace. Know it when we see it. Perhaps “a little peace” is all we can hope for….or can we each define peace for ourselves, and like life, is always with us? Perhaps “some peace,” can never be destroyed?

  11. Peace, is it merely absence of conflict, the
    nothingness that awaits to consume us?

    Never given a chance but it gets overwhelmed by so many factors (which are all man-made) It is certainly a modern day tragedy!


  12. i’ve pondered that question; is peace the polar opposite of war, violence, and hate?

    can we experience one without the others or is peace strictly in the realm of human cognition?

    is it a ‘mundane’ thing?

  13. a very thoughtful poem, Sanaa, definitely one of my favourites from you.
    it is a difficult qusetion to answer, i think, but we must ask. there are 7.6 billion people in the world and each have their own opinion about peace. let us hope that it is not the “nothingness’ you spoke of in your first stanza.
    i enjoyed reading the poem because the poet really cares.

  14. peace is a state of mind
    peace is being secure
    peace is the absence of violence
    everyone should be at peace within themselves
    tis not the nature of mankind
    only poets artists and musicians
    and piano tuners:)

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