You are our protection and strength
Help in the storm of anguish and despair
Exactly and easily found close at hand
So we are not afraid

Even when earth’s in upheaval
When mountains are carried to the sea
When the sea’s waters roar and foam
And the mountains quake and tremble with the waters’ swelling –

In the middle of the world there is a river
Streams run to it, making glad your cities
Making glad the places where you are known
You flow as the waters of that river
And she shall not be moved
For you are with her
You are the morning that dawns over the quiet waters

Nations rage, kingdoms tumble –
This is the sound of your voice
This is the earth melting away

You are with us, our defense, our silent center
What we see is all your doing
These desolations
These terrifying moments –
Only your unmoving movement –

You cause wars to cease when they cease, to cease forever
You break the bow, snap the spear
Burn up the war wagons

Be still – be still
And know me
Be still and know
That I am what the nations grope toward
I am earth’s desire

So we know you are with us
Our defense at the silent center of things


From Opening to You: Zen-inspired Translations of the Psalms
(New York City: Viking Compass, 2002)


#Peace
Poetry