Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality are delighted to announce a new initiative entitled Poetry for Peace. The company have set up an online anti-war, pro-peace site to host a collection of anti-war poetry in written and video format to celebrate peace and non-violence.
At a time when conflicts and war are part of everyday life for communities across the world, it is important to stand up and speak out for peace and against violence. People across the world are speaking out against war. There are always many different sides to war and our call is for ceasefires and negotiations as a pathway to peace.
From July 2022, Smashing Times International Centre for the Arts and Equality are facilitating an open call for poetry of any length in either written or video format that is linked with or inspired by the theme of anti-war and pro-peace. We are calling on you, members of the public, to find or write a poem that is anti-war and pro-peace to be displayed online in written or video format on the Poetry for Peace original site. People can submit a poem or song.
The world is on fire, our planet burning, our fields flooding. Alongside a call for respecting the earth we live on, we call on governments around the world to stop wars and violence and to advocate for peace. We need to find a way to collectively stop war, aggression and greed and instead focus on ways to nurture the planet we live on.
Send the links for the site to as many people as you know asking them to contribute a song, poem or quote and assist us to publicise the work through social media. To promote this central space for peace we invite you to ring up a local or national radio station asking for poems and songs for peace to be played on the airways. Instead of requesting a love story ask for an anti-war song or request a poem or song for peace. Let everyone know about the site where the poems can be read and viewed.
Submitting A Poem
We invite you, members of the public, to submit your anti-war, pro-peace poetry for a chance to be featured in our new online collection.
All featured poems will be credited and promoted on Smashing Times social media channels. All video submissions will be hosted and accessible also via the Smashing Times YouTube channel. All content contributed, subject to review, will be displayed on 23 September for Culture night 2022 – as an online collection of anti-war poetry called Poetry For Peace that is accessible to all. This collection will be launched for Culture Night 2022 and serves as a reminder that Ireland’s long cultural history of poetry and storytelling is still a key element of our culture today, and also serves as a spotlight on poets and songwriters using their artform to promote human rights.
- Poems or songs can be of any length, but must be original or provide copyright
- Poems or songs can be submitted as written text or as a video reading.
- Each poem should include a title, author’s name, performer’s name and other relevant information.
- Authors may submit more than one poem or song.
For information email email@example.com. Closing date for submission is Friday 9 September at 5pm. The online collection will be released on Culture Night, 23 September 2022
Artists and Artworks
By Mary Moynihan
Freedom is my way to speak out against the atrocities of war and intolerance and the destructive impact of greed on our world. Democracy is not a given and it can be taken away. The poem is a way of acknowledging the darkness of our world and the power of people who dance together for peace and freedom.
What price we pay to appease the hawks
Who claim fate as an artefact,
As their armies stalk those against the pact
Of a new world order decreed by human Gods.
We follow war hungry leaders, and believe, against the odds,
The beguiling sophistry of educated men
who promise victory in loud decrees –
They will not falter until all are bled.
Politician, banker, imam, priest, sitting down to feast
On the womb of hope as our voices cease
Each sucks the marrow for their own end,
For power and glory they crook and bend.
Body bags and battering rams,
Coffinless graves for gentle lambs.
Soldiers die for Lords on high,
Women and children for you and I.
The billowing smoke on our TV screen
Marks the place where women scream
To lament the child vaporised
By a bomb made by you and I.
In the rubble a tiny hand reaches for the stars
That now lie blasted in the sand.
Blown to the west and east, the light is dying
as the savage beast of a rich man’s creed
rises from the ash unseen –
Belief is still as the voice of a Saviour once followed
is now apocryphal.
Yet overnight seeds are sown.
Quietly thousands gather all unknown,
To raise a whisper against tyranny of greed –
From sorrow deep are humans freed.
Winds of change whisper peace,
All are equal, corruption cease.
I reach for far-flung specks still in sight
Our dreams as glimmers in the blackest night –
They may one day burst into fire
To rekindle faith, to inspire.
Will you be the mad one to remind me I am sane,
Life still grows in a wasteland scorched with want and pain
Meet me at the stomping ground of freedom,
I will stand you in good stead,
Dance with me and sing
In memory – of the dead.
Copyright: Mary Moynihan
By Mary Moynihan
‘In Time’ is a poem film written and created by artist Mary Moynihan and reflecting on a vision of hope for the future. The artist says ‘In Time is my personal response to the changing landscape of our world today in a time of pandemic and is my dream for the future’. Mary wrote ‘In Time’ as a poem after experiencing a serious form of Covid-19. Shortly afterwards, the poem was transformed into a poem film, co-directed with Mark Quinn, performed by Carla Ryan and Kwasie Boyce (pictured above) with original music composed and performed by Lisa McLoughlin-Gnemmi. ‘In Time’ was presented as part of the Emotional Landscapes exhibition in the Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival 2020.
In time . . .
In time we will recover.
In time there will be a vaccine and we will be able to go outside, to work, to the park, to the mountains, to meet our family and friends, to travel to the ends of the earth if we wish.
In time we will rebuild our world.
We will create an equal society where people count – our family, friends and co-workers, and all those who provide services and look after each other.
We will get our values right, our priorities straight and create a world for what really matters – people, the planet we live on and dignity and respect for all.
In time we will meet each other in the darkness of a theatre space and know again the magic of a connection that is invisible yet truly felt.
In time we shall hug those we love and have missed.
In time we shall mourn and remember those who have died. In time we shall bear witness.
In time we will breathe calmly again.
In time we shall create and imagine what if. . .
In time we shall reject governments that do not respect people or act on our behalf.
In time we shall create respect for the planet we live on and know that our atmosphere is clearing up and soon the world will be able to breathe again.
In time we shall be true to our inner selves, hear the inner voice of our own souls and follow our heart’s desire.
In time we shall serve ourselves and equally, at the same time, serve others.
In time we shall fight the good fight and at the same time, let go.
In time we shall enjoy life and be present in the moment.
And perhaps one day, in time, we shall realise . . . there is no time.
Copyright: Mary Moynihan
This Sleeping Heart
By Féilim James
‘This Sleeping Heart’ is a poem about indifference and inaction in the face of suffering, and the destructiveness of the human condition.
I can’t remember the beginning.
No one can.
But all I’ll say
Is that anyone who says the world hasn’t ended
Is a fool.
The thunder-clamour of gas chambers;
The scorched, steaming plains.
Who claims the end hasn’t come and passed?
Who is that idiot smiling, pacing
Purposefully down the street. Street
Thronged with people. Street
Empty as hell.
Does anyone else hear a drum beat?
No. No one can.
The fact of the matter is, if I haven’t lost it entirely,
Is that this body –
Our body, our own pulse –
Has been laid grossly to waste
Again and again and again.
Cyanide, napalm, atomic bomb –
We know them all already,
Know them all
But to feel?
To wake and all amnesia forget,
And wake this sleeping heart?
Copyright: Féilim James