"I, May I Rest in Peace" (Hexagram 11)

I, may I rest in peace – I, who am still living, say,
May I have peace in the rest of my life.

I want peace right now while I'm still alive.
I don't want to wait like that pious man who
wished for one leg
of the golden chair of Paradise, I want a four-
legged chair
right here, a plain wooden chair. I want the rest of
my peace now.
I have lived out my life in wars of every kind:
battles without
and within, close combat, face-to-face, the faces
my own, my lover-face, my enemy-face.
Wars with the old weapons – sticks and stones,
blunt axe, words,
dull ripping knife, love and hate,
and wars with newfangled weapons – machine
gun, missile,
words, land mines exploding, love and hate.
I don't want to fulfill my parents' prophecy that life
is war.
I want peace with all my body and all my soul.
Rest me in peace.

From Open Closed Open, by Yehuda Amichai
Copyright © 2000 by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld


Liara Covert said…
UR peace. UR love. This reality never falters. How one perceives falters, diverges and changes according to will and sense of truth.

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