“Enough” by Danielle Poitras
By Blog editor, on 9 November 2023
At UCL’s Peace Education Special Interest Group (PESIG) we aim to support and amplify voices that call for peace in education, in society and in ourselves. Please get in touch with us if you would like to share your contributions to the PESIG blog:
Alexis Stones email@example.com; Hans Svennevig firstname.lastname@example.org
Words are crucial at this time to ask questions, listen, speak out, define terms, explore language, sources and histories; to write, challenge, protest, and to build peace. Here, Colorado-based poet and storyteller, Danielle Poitras, launches this term’s PESIG blog contributions with her poem “ENOUGH”.
Since Hurricane Lydia crashed into Mexico’s Pacific coast in early October where I was on retreat, the keyboard of my laptop is stuck in all caps.
I remember when I was in the first grade at West District School, I would write my name across the top of my worksheets “DANIELLE M. POITRAS.”
My teacher, Miss Thurston, who wore a permanent grimace and once locked my brother in the coat closet, pointed to my name in all caps and in a voice loud enough for all to hear, asked:
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
“DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SPECIAL?”
I kept my mouth closed in class after that.
Now, being forced to type in all caps is a sign of these terrible times, an expression of the horror unfolding in the world.
The urgent need to lift our voices for peace.
An invocation to our ancestors.
A prayer to end violence and hatred.
A call for humanity to evolve.
STOP ENOUGH NUNCA MAS
Haven’t we humans had enough of war?
NO MORE killing machines.
NO MORE using children as tools of war.
NO MORE children frantically searching for their mothers in the rubble.
NO MORE massacres of civilians.
NO MORE parents grieving their dead or kidnapped children.
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
I am someone who knows that we humans are capable of immense beauty and goodness. In his book A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, Howard Zinn reminds us that “to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
MAY WE BE VICTORIOUS IN KEEPING OUR HUMANITY.
MAY WE NEVER BE AFRAID OF OUR OWN VOICES.
MAY WE LIVE WITH COURAGE, COMPASSION, AND KINDNESS.
MAY WE REMEMBER THAT WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER.
MAY WE ALWAYS SEE OURSELVES AND OUR LOVED ONES IN THE FACES OF OTHERS.
MAY WE BE A REFUGE FOR EACH OTHER.
MAY WE ILLUMINATE THE WORLD WITH THE BRILLIANT LIGHT OF OUR HEARTS AND CREATE “AN ENERGY FIELD MORE INTENSE THAN WAR.”*
*from Denise Levertov’s poem “Making Peace” in Breathing the Water.
Danielle M. Poitras earned her MFA in Writing & Poetics at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado. As a heart-centered multimedia storyteller, she is most interested in telling authentic stories that spark ways of remembering and connect humans with their purpose for making the world a more beautiful and kind place.