Peace Poem, by Jackie Hagan
For Ginette peace is the snatched hour when the baby is asleep, not quite reaching the cup of tea and breathing very quietly.
For Mo peace is Friday night, flashing lights, neon tights the funky chicken on a dancefloor that’s old enough to know better.
For Ted it’s the memories in love letters, the crinkle of old.
For Sally it’s finally being brave enough to be bold (yellow trousers!)
Alison imagines that peace would be looking in the mirror and not hating what she sees,
being able to believe she’s … okay.
Peace is a full tank of petrol and a wide open road,
it’s taking the moment and making it your own,
the stillness you can hollow out of stone.
Peace is being comfortable in your own skin.
Others being comfortable with the colour of your skin.
For some it’s kin, a kindred spirit,
sharing what’s in your heart and not being rejected.
Being accepted faults and all,
having a ball with someone who laughs at the same stuff
or being able to say
For some peace is certainty,
For some it’s embracing uncertainty.
Someone understanding what you’re trying to say, when the words are compulsive lies or your mouth is sewn shut with what you’re forced to hide,
when you someone knows what your communicating with your eyes.
Or! Peace is cats, the fur, the purr,
the fact that theyre not people.
For some it’s not being in pain,
being in less pain,
accepting the pain
and making the best of it.
My mum says it’s knowing her girls are safe.
Maybe its unfurling? Opening your wings and flying?
For me – it’s trying, and not hiding,
a clean slate,
an absence of hate,
or the warmth of a log fire, crackle and calm.
Peace can be a fridge full of food to feed the five thousand
or just some bread for today.
It breaks down when there’ no talking and no trust,
a friendship, a family, a village reduced to dust,
a country halved by walls and barbed wire,
hunger and sickness
behind bayonets and fire.
Peace in conflict comes from compromise,
sharing your toys,
or your resources, supples;
both sides listening,
no matter how big the differences.
For some peace is making a new home,
From the rubble of the old.
Peace with your self,
Peace with your family
Peace with your country
Peace with your world
It starts in here.
One tiny word
requires so much willpower
that we have
Stop, listen, look
for the sake of those who have not known peace.
For some it is simply silence.
Written by Jackie Hagan, during the Poppy project.
Jackie Hagan was raised by hecklers on broken biscuits and has a very sparkly false leg.
A theatre practioner and community worker, Jackie is a regular performer ofpoetry, stand up comedy and cabaret and is about to embark on a national tour her solo show ‘Some People Have Too many Legs’, directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair and commissioned by the NRTF and Contact Theatre.
She is the organiser of award winning monthly spoken word night Magical Animals. She runs a ‘writing for well being’ project for isolated adults at the Bluesci Arts and Well Being Centre in Trafford and has worked extensively with people with challenging behaviour. She has run workshops on confidence training, ‘writing your life story’, ‘how to keep your head when your life is turned upside down’ and much more.
Her most recent collection of poetry is available from www.flapjackpress.co.uk. She has just been commissioned by Graeae Theatre to write a full length play to be staged at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool.
She likes people who do things a bit wonky.