Peace to this house

           The bearers of Peace, it is said,
carry no purse, bag or sandals.
They come, unexpected, and uninvited.
Few receive them, or their message;
most are suspicious,
asking what is in it for them.
Stillness is little valued
among people busy to accumulate;
like modesty and humility,
it is regarded as a relic
from less-clever times.
Peace itself is no passive thing,
capturing those who receive it
and bringing demands
that are not universally welcomed.
Peace expects contentment for oneself,
generosity towards one’s neighbour,
(no matter how undeserving),
and outrage on behalf of the oppressed,
the wretched and the violated.
“Peace to this house!” is considered, at best,
an uncertain blessing.

 © Ken Rookes 2013


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