which war



the tired cry

of an infant

crawls its way

through the rubble.


the grown child of five,

hears it, between her

own sobs and tears,

her fingers cut and bruised,

her cheek smudged wet and skinned.


she hurts holding the baby

across her chest

and bloodies its cloth.


with a mother’s eye, this woman

squints to survey

the new landscape.


a man of eight runs

to her side, takes the infant,

and they scramble across

the war-torn town

of their birth.






a worldly lament


where are our brothers, our husbands, our sons?

tell us where the deeds were done.

piles and piles and piles of bones,

​tell us where our fathers have gone.


where do mass graves lie under the moon?

where women have







An Everyday, Garden Variety, Run of the Mill

Prayer for Peace


Let there be peace in Africa,

Let there be peace in the Middle East.

Peace in Europe, her islands offshore,

Peace in Asia, Near and Far.

Indian peace, subcontinent and seas,

Peace Down Under, Pacific peace.

America, South, North, isthmus between,

The Atlantic, the Falklands, the Caribbean.

Peace at the poles and peace in space,

Let there be peace along the human race.

Copyright James Phoenix 2017

updated 5/7/2017