March 2011

Playing tuba

A poem written today at the Valley and Mountain Fellowship, Rainier Valley in Seattle. 

preaching consolation
I walk in beauty
my ears sharp to your voice
my eyes peeled for
any stray ray of light

when I visit the time and place
of my own death
I remember the future

when I feed the hungry
I feed my own soul
when I seek peace
I am delivered unto peace
when I listen to you
my voice is magnified

This I believe

soldiers huggingIn 2005 I produced a documentary film, Voices in Wartime, that uses poetry to explore the trauma of war, and over the past few years I have spent many hours talking to people about their experience of war. I’ve talked to classrooms full of students, and I’ve hosted community dialogues on war and trauma, and I’ve facilitated audience discussions after screenings of films about war.

Cameron Penny's poem

If you are lucky in this life,
A window will appear on a battlefield between two armies.
And when the soldiers look into the window
They don’t see their enemies.
They see themselves as children.
And they stop fighting
And go home and go to sleep. When they wake up, the land is well again.

Cameron Penny's If You Are Lucky in This Life was originally published in the November/December 2001 issue of North American Review. Marie Howe reads his poem in the film Voices in Wartime.