I spent the night in Alexandria, Louisiana, several years ago in the early Christmas season in a hotel downtown. After dark, I walked out on the levee to see the Red River at night. Across the distant shore on the Pineville side, Christmas lights spelled out “Peace on Earth.” The lights reflected upside down on the water. “Hmph,” I thought, “What a metaphor?” Anyway, I thought about it and dashed out the following. Today more appropriate than then? Or do we long more for peace more now than then because we’re tired of its noisy, strife-ridden antithesis?

Peace on Earth?
By David Pulling
November 2003
(Composed along the levee at Alexandria)

“Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife / And hear the angels sing!
–Edmund H. Sears

“Peace on Earth”
shimmering
upside down
in lights’ reflection
on the dark, moon-dappled River.
Lord, we long to hear
the angels sing.
Save us
from
noise
and
men of strife.
Rather
set peace aright
set our hearts aright
and
tune our ears
to hear
the angels’ sing.

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