Writing a Found Poem based on Naomi Shihab Nye’s “How Long Peace Takes”

Writing a Found Poem based on Naomi Shihab Nye’s “How Long Peace Takes”

[Exercise created by Debra McDonald Bailey for the 1/30/2016 session of Renegade Writers.] Thank you, Debra for your presentation.


How Long Peace Takes

As long as the horse rides the constellations
As long as the star burns out, neglecting her children
As long as blue thread spins through our bodies, delivering oxygen through blood—and the heart—Do not forget the heart or she will prick you with the sewing needle
As long as the weaver holds her neck in the same position, that many hours—as long as she dreams the fingers of her lover
As long as the grass is above our knees, we will be on the journey
As long as the nurse dawdles after the patient presses the red button, (she clenches her teeth)
As long as the question “Do you desire me?” goes unanswered
As long as the mare lies in the field, licking her dead foal
As long as anyone touches another, any other living being; that singular moment
And it ends.
If every day we come to communion



©2016 Clare L. Martin