O What Do We Know About Peace?

With a nod to the late, great W. H. Auden,
and in tribute to a father’s gentle courage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkM-SDNoI_8

#PoetsforPeace

Some say it is a fragrant lily
Opened in the morning sun.
Some think it grows in heather fields
Where yearling mule deer run.
I asked the politicians
If its measures might increase,
But they just sent more troops to war.
O what do we know about peace?

Does it taste like dates and honey,
Or like sausages on sticks?
Can you pay for it with money,
Or build it a house with bricks?
Does it make us feel protected,
Like a blanket made of fleece?
Must its pockets be inspected?
O what do we know about peace?

Whenever people disagree,
They claim they’re striving for it.
When sipping from a cup of tea,
Most folks will just ignore it;
The great philosophers have said
We’ll know it when we see it,
And surely as our blood is red,
We ought to fight to free it.

Does it soar like an osprey on steroids,
Or light up the night like the moon?
Could we grab it by flexing our deltoids,
Or float to it on a pontoon?
Does it live all alone on an island,
Or blow where it will on the breeze?
Would it last for a week without broadband?
O what do we know about peace?

I scoured beneath the kitchen sink,
And checked the freezer, too;
I tried to find the missing link
By emptying my shoe.
I followed all the pirates’ maps
That pointed to their loot,
But everywhere X marked the spot,
Its chest was destitute.

Will it come for a visit on Tuesday,
As I’m getting out of the bath?
Will I see it drive by on the freeway,
Or picking up stones in my path?
Does it come with a license to carry?
Can it truly cause terror to cease?
Is a lack of it hereditary?
O what do we know about peace?

When our children are witness to bloodshed,
And murder’s a matter of course,
Should we strap on a nuclear warhead,
Or say: mais nous avons des fleurs*?
Although hate multiplies like a cancer,
et partout, le méchant existe**,
Can’t we comfort a child with an answer?
O what do we know about peace?

*but we have flowers
**and everywhere, the bad guy exists