Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fighting Wars

Image: Gregory Colbert, Ashes and Snow

I’m not opposed to the wars that you fight
on the inside of the precious container that hosts your soul.
Struggle is a gift claimed only by the living.
Inner-conflict, an initiation rite for those who have
finally sensed their humanity.
Do embrace the enemy that is the sweet angel
come to wake you for mid-day prayer,
And, then,
let this be it!
Refrain from enlisting in the projections of another’s battle.
Well, yes,
you may decide to lure their combatant
into the trenches and bless them there,
this is all.
You must become so busy learning not to be at peace
with this world
that you finally surrender,
pledging your allegiance to
love for everything and nothing more.

© 2014/Jamie K. Reaser

Written in Phnom Phen, Cambodia - where, if you listen carefully, the ghosts of genocide will tell you what they have learned.

(Feel free to share. Poetry is meant to move.)


  1. Jamie -- I admire the way you write. Curious to know how your being in Cambodia influenced this piece.

    1. Thank you, Jeffrey. One evening I was sitting quietly in Cambodia, reflecting on the relatively recent period of genocide that had been directly experienced by my new students/friends. This poem 'came to me' during that contemplation - as if wisdom being shared from the 'other side' to say: embrace the battles within and let them take you to an understanding of love/compassion. When we project our inner battles/inner demons onto others, fear and attempted destruction of an 'enemy' often follow...