Advent 2023 · Peace

Paper Cranes

By Lisa Bristow

“A paper bird is stronger than a hawk.” Thomas Merton

Through the bare window
of a breeze block hermitage
a man in denim overalls
fold and refolds
words calling out war
into paper aeroplanes,
launches them high
above monastery walls,
wounds politicians
and is silenced by superiors
but not for long.
The need too urgent he
smooths another piece of paper
uncaps his pen,
prays for the right words.

Load, aim, release
load aim, release
a thousand paper birds
folded for peace.

About the Author

Lisa Bristow’s poetry has been published in the Thomas Merton Journal, We are Not Shadows by Folkways Press, What the Eye Sees by Arachne Press, Bloodmoon Poetry, and Faith, Hope and Fiction. She lives and writes on the edge of the Peak District in England with her husband and rescue dog.