The story of Sadako Sasaki and the growth of the peace movement in Japan resonates today. Fifth grader, Isabel Traywick, worked on her own peace poem after learning about Sadako and how she has become an international symbol of peace.
Says Isabel: “Sadako’s story teaches me that peace is important. It builds friendships, teaches me to be kind, and creates a good world for everyone to live in. I think it is remarkable that Sadako’s friends made a memorial for her to tell her story to the world. I think this was unique in a positive way, because it teaches us the other side of the WWll story. My haiku poem is about peace and the relief of no more war between America and Japan.”
Photo caption: Isabel’s peace poem and the symbolic peace cranes originally shared by Sadako as a symbol of peace.

Peace by Isabel Traywick

Peace is harmony
It is like serenity
Forgiving as love
Doves flapping their wings
Flowers budding through the snow
Let it embrace you
Peace is important
Chases away fears and stress
Love, live, laugh, and learn

Giving way to inner peace

Sometimes we find peace in different ways. Sixth grader Payton Ward loves poetry and music and took the opportunity to write a poem about music.
“Poetry and music to me, is a form of art. Poetry and music is something that many people can identify with and truly express themselves in lots of different ways. As middle school kids, we start to realize that we are changing and develop insecurities. I have always found it extremely comforting to be able to relate and identify with music, and to then express my feelings and emotions while writing poetry. I really start to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I’m sure everybody does once they find that inner peace zone, you know?”

Musical Emotion by Peyton Ward
Music has changed my life
In a positive - negative way Its effect bittersweet, should I say?
Don’t get me wrong
When I think music, I sing a real song.
The type that has deep meaning; is different from all the rest.
A song with significance
And which encourages me to get things off my chest.
Music affects feelings, especially the ones that just don’t seem right.
Music is the reason my feelings don’t give me any fright.
It helps me understand why they’re really there
Even the type of feelings, I don’t like to really share.
Music encourages me to express explicitly, I start to view them a little blissfully.
I feel more sanguine about my sensitivities
Since I was just only 10.
Two years of discovering my new emotions,
All from just a simple song.
So sing with me, this new song
My awareness and perceptions are what they are
And cannot be wrong.

So as we reflect on September 21, International Day of Peace, we discovered that poetry connects us across time and traverses continents. It restores hope and defines our humanity. It  fosters love and peace as in the prayer associated with St Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


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