June 8, 2018
Photo by Sandra Delzotti

Peril
A Poem by Hilde Oleson

Life is filled with peril for us humans.
Nature, which can sustain us, comfort us,
Provide us with food and lodging,
Nature can reinforce us, calm our minds, soothe our emotions,
Can turn against us and destroy us.
There are wild tornados,
Hurricanes that leave us helpless,
There are rumbles from the sky,
Surges from the sea,
Sinkholes appear suddenly swallowing
What used to be a road.
Volcanos, long silent, send signals
That they too can erupt
But the worst of all, the most dangerous,
The one that can send a whole country into mourning
Is the human being.
One human, one fragile person, whose life can be ended
Easily, can disrupt many lives, can end a regime.
A few seconds in the hand of one disturbed person
Can end a life, can change a country,
The dangers we do not see, the fears we do not address,
The mental anguish no-one notices
Can rise and end our lives.
And we, the ones whose existence is endangered,
Put into the hands of the most fragile persons
The weapons of destruction.
We think of preservation, protection, feel safer
If we are allowed a weapon.
We do not see that compassion for each other
Is a stronger weapon than a gun.
We do not realize that just a hand reaching out
With a simple message of hope is stronger than a gun.
Without that hand a gun is helpless too.
It seems we must make a choice.
Do we choose fear and armor or love and compassion?
Can we work each alone, or with others,
To make a country where we care about each other
And bind together to begin a long sought after peace?

To submit a photo or a poem, email Assistant Library Director Brittany Taylor at btaylor@clamsnet.org