Poem of the Month: What is Peace, Kett Murphy

I took a small staycation last week and worked from home part-time and spent time catching up with my own life part-time. Included among my catch-up activities was binge-watching the entire first season of The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. Not exactly relaxing, but urgent and necessary anyway. However fictionalized, it still is a disturbing metaphoric interpretation of the perils of an authoritarian society.

Where to go with that knowledge? The first night, I went to sleep and had nightmares continually until dawn (even with a 2:00 AM reading break). The second and subsequent nights my thoughts turned toward peace and how I have been called into peacemaking since my coming-of-age starting in 1968–ironically (or synchronistically?) the same spring that Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated within weeks of each other.

What is peace? That is an excellent journal question.

What is Peace

One day I met peace for the first time
and I asked her what she was
and she said to me,
“Peace is both sight and sound
and feeling and idea
Peace is happiness and joy
but tranquility and calm at the same time
Peace is what you feel after you do something that you know is right
and peace is lying on your back in sweet grass looking up at
big white clouds that roll by
in a picture perfect blue sky
Peace is when nothing seems to go wrong for you
and all you can do is smile”
Peace said this to me and then
she told me to tell everyone I knew
so I’m telling you

-Kett Murphy

(c) in the name of the poet. Used for educational purposes.


Journal prompts:

  • What is peace? Write a poem.
  • Make a list of seven everyday things you can do to cultivate peace inside and out. Do one of them every day for two weeks and make notes about outcomes.
  • Find a peace partner. Buddy up with a friend, family member, colleague, church acquaintance and become a peace squad. Decide for yourselves what that means.

One Response to Poem of the Month: What is Peace, Kett Murphy

  1. Katherine Cox Stevenson June 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

    I am preparing for today’s Journaling for Health group and as always came to this fabulous site for ideas.

    The group wanted to focus today on fear and what an amazing array of research I came up. A lot of it scary. 🙂

    This poem on peace is a perfect way for me to end our session. Thank you Kay for all the amazing insights, support, and resources you offer us.


Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes