Tuesday, March 5, 2013


So they came to me all fired up, with that look in their eyes
That I remember so well, that I haven’t seen in mine for years
And their words spilled out on top of each other as they fair
Bubbled over with excitement as they contemplated this new idea
They had – well they weren’t quite that naive – they knew it wasn’t
Really brand new but they also knew it hadn’t been done on a large
Scale for some time and they think they’ve figured out a way to do it big
And when they said big, they meant huge – they said, we want to march
For Peace, oh and Non-Violence too, if we’re going to do it– let’s do it

So we put the kettle on and some of us opened wine or beer, and I settled
Back and started listening, then started reading their material; then
After a very short while, I picked up my phone and called a few close friends
Told them they better get on over to my house, the peace train was about
To run again and we needed to get on board I thought, but I wanted more
Than just a second opinion, I wanted a third, a fourth and more, if you please
And I don’t think I imagined it, the ripple of excitement I heard, just behind
The first “mmmhmms?” that were definitely tinged with years of scepticism
Bred of cynicism and age, in my view, perfectly understandable, having come
From there myself – however, when I started tossing out numbers and names
Of some of those, already signed on, there were these little pockets of silence
And then, inevitably, the acquiesces - the agreeing to come over for just a bit;
In less than thirty minutes, even those that lived the furthest away, had arrived.

As is true of many a fine idea, this one was simple at its core
A World March for Peace and Non-Violence, that would kick off in New Zealand
On the anniversary of Ghandi’s birth, October 2 – and after wending its way
From and continent to continent, and country to country– the march would end
On January 2, at the base of the Andes Mountains in Argentina
When I asked how many people would actually march all those places,
They told me, it would be a symbolic core group of between 20 and 100 people
Then, one of them took out his laptop and showed me the map
With all the countries signed on and explained how marches will take place
along the way every single day of the three months between October and January
Every day, somewhere in the world, sometimes more than one place
There will be a march or a sporting event or a country fair or the opening of an art gallery
And each time one of these things happens,  it will be done in the name of this march

Then, he showed me their newsletters and more people already endorsing the march
Admittedly, I was impressed – it’s not every day you see the Dalai Lama,
and the President of Chile,
Yoko Ono and Desmond Tutu cheek by jowl with Viggo Mortensen, Art Garfunkel 
and Amnesty International...
So - obvious question – what do you need with me – it seems this is going well
Well indeed, they nodded, but not so much in this part of our country
Besides, we’ve heard stories about – back in the day
My friends are exchanging knowing looks a few chuckles
I wonder who’s sold me out; decide it might’ve been my kids ...

Anyway, they continue, we don’t want to be left behind, we want to mobilize,
do our part, you know?
Of course I know – remember well, living at the other end of this country
And travelling to New York at times to march, although Toronto wasn’t bad for protests
In the 60’s and 70’s and it looks like it’s going to be holding its own again this go round
But, I agree, there is no reason the capital city of this fair province cannot lead the way
For the west – not B.C. of course – they probably know more about parades then the rest of us
Put together – but for the prairies to the mountains – we will pull it together
We will overcome, whatever there is to overcome, and we will march in the name of peace
Ahh – and I thought being a grandma was going to be exciting...who knew this other was coming?

This was written during the run-up to the March for Peace and Non-Violence, several years ago,an incredibly successful world-wide project that did unite all the continents, hundreds of countries and cities around the planet and garnered interest and conscious-ness raising in such diverse groups as professional soccer teams in Europe and elementary schools in the Philippines...as mentioned in the poem - it began on Gandhi's birthday on October 2nd in New Zealand and ended on January 2nd in Argentina. (this site was chosen partially because it was the birthplace of the founder of the march and partly because it was a natural end to circumnavigating the globe.)


  1. wow very cool...wonder if we could pull something like that off again....that is very cool...i think we def need to shake things up a bit in a positive way....

  2. I agree. We are in desperate need of another Gandhi.

  3. Sharon, this makes me think of other meetings that I've been in, where there's that element of cynicism and then in the end, success!! Really gave me a sense of the emotions and place. :-)

  4. Hi, Sharon... I agree, we need more of this, especially in America right now (ahem... Washington DC).

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