Saturday, September 21, 2019

Calendar Coincidence Verse—International Day of Peace-Autumnal Equinox

Calendar coincidence--Peace and Autumnal Equinox.

This is another one of the calendar poems inspired by random, or not so random, coincidences of dates, usually discovered as I am in a mad scramble for a blog entry topic.  It first appeared in 2013 but the calendar serendipity is annual.

Tomorrow will be the first day of Autumn but here in McHenry County we will be soaked by the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda, the same monsoon that has drowned Houston in more than 40 inches of rain so conditions are not just as they were described in the doggerel below. 
Today is the International Day of Peace, so proclaimed by the United Nations every year since 1982.  Since 2001 the date has been fixed to September 21 instead of the original third Tuesday of the month, which was also when the UN General Assembly begins its annual session

This year it is also the day after the International Climate Strike which was timed to both reflect the precarious balance which is now tipping us all to ecological destruction just as the Autumnal Equinox tips us irrevocably toward winter and to get the attention of the United Nations Emergency Climate Change Summit.  The rapid deterioration of the environment—melting ice caps, rising seas, hurricanes, heat waves, fires, droughts, and famine—also displaces millions creating international migration crisis, destabilizing governments, and creating conflict over scarce and vanishing resources—the perfect recipe for war and more war.

Those conflicts smolder across the globe and we are also now on the cusp of a possible war with Iran carrying water for both the Saudis and Israel 

Among its grander visions which must have seemed distant even to the founders of the Day of Peace, was at a call for an annual one day cease fire of on-going hostilities.  I can recall no armies ever standing down, but perhaps I missed something.

International Day of Peace/Autumnal Equinox Eve
September 21, 2013

The immanent equinox advertises itself
            this morning with crack crisp air,
            elderly maples beginning to rust at the crown,
            a touch of gold on borer doomed ashes,
            mums and marigolds,
            hoodies up on dog walkers in shorts,
            all under a prefect azure sky—
                        you know the one from the Sunday song 
reminding “skies everywhere as blue as mine.”

The globe teeters on the edge of equanimity,
            ready to balance for an instant between night and day,
            seasons, yesterday and tomorrow,
            a perilous, promising, moment.

The poor creatures swarming over its surface,
            fancying ourselves somehow its masters,
            alas, bereft of any balance….

From the Wishful Thinking File,
            institutional division—
Festooned with doves and olive branches
            brave words on blue banners,
            a speech here, a lovely little vigil there,
            an earnest strumming of guitars,
            litanies sung, mantras chanted,
            kind hearts and gentle people…

The creatures go about our brutal business,
            blithely ignoring it all—
                        proclamation and equinox alike.

—Patrick Murfin

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