This is the First Blog Post of the Art of Autism’s 4th Annual International Poems & Art for Peace Project. We thank all the autistic artists and poets who contributed to this initiative. Thank you Art of Autism Board member Keri Bowers for curating this initiative for the fourth year.
International Day of Peace is September 21, 2019. For the fourth year Art of Autism board member Keri Bowers has curated peace-themed poems and art to share throughout the month of September.
The United Nations General Assembly declared September 21, International Day of Peace, as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The United Nations Member’s adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because they understood it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if action steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure that their rights were protected. The Sustainable Goals cover a broad range of issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.
2019’s Peace Day Theme is Climate Action for Change. This theme pays attention to the importance of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. Each year, The Art of Autism adopts the U.N.’s theme, and though not all poetry and art in our series shared throughout this September directly relates to Climate Action for Change, all of our submissions observe the natural state of beauty and depth of expression in poetry and art created by autistics and those who love them. Enjoy.
Art By JC, age 9, with support from Carolyn Wagner, CITE School
As we approached
last minute, we ‘pour’ our looms
Dyed yarn with Kool-aid
Help in warping mandalas
and varying degrees
help with weaving
Hand over hand
In Search of a River
By Sherin Mary Zacharia as published in the anthology “Float Poetry – Re-verse the River”
The mountain tried to reach the cloud
Stop her and ask something with a quiver in voice
The cloud fled as the rocks below began to crumble
Water started her turbulent journey here, from up here
From my head, with mist gliding in breeze, is my hair
Dying now I am, where are you my child? Cloud do you see her?
Tell me great valley, was she down there with you
Watering the fields that fill the plates as would Ganga do
Over the murky waves the dolphins leap, gasping
Unaffected by elements the sages keep chanting
The Ganga washes their feet, then bids good bye to souls
Are you there my child, to be in the journey eternal?
A flute churns curd into love as the mother regrets
Restraining her soul’s cream as he sets out as life’s stream
And there he plunges into the beautiful Yamuna
Cows tinkling their bells, birds singing sweet
Girls dancing, boys laughing loud with joy
Dear I know this is a festival which you do not want to return from
Right in front of the Taj do not thin down
Can a river keep everything else and let love drown?
Water why do you take things dirty, to clean the heartless?
Look how ugly a fine silver stuff has become!
Gone are the days when a beauty like you
The Indus, defined civilization and gave birth to a culture great
Favourite to you dear , were the dancing dolls which you had hidden
Many boats sailed with you with men of emperors great
Bound by many dams she is helpless
She chokes as villages vanish for town
Did you remember Narmada as calmness blankets mountains
Mutely watching flood and famines
Meeting with Sabarmathi you should dear believe
Such a human lived as much with flesh and blood
Have you wound down south, trailing the scent of jasmine?
Kaveri is a mother whose tears flow into fields of feud
On the spread of sere sand art dances in stunning colors
Poetry thrives and merits still sprout along Nila
Men across the land listened
Sankara teaching Advaitha
Like the uncanny alligator that held him back
Waters of Periyar is a captive by the thirsty city
River so strong so beautiful, singing with the oars that splash
Retarded she flows amidst water front high rises
Deluge was as never before as Pamba rushed
From the Sahya to the sea, she was roaring
Man was seeking worldly gains grinding rivers under his feet
Come back oh dear, my river, where are you?
Have you gone deep into the earth to be with Saraswathi?
By CarolAnn Edscorn
A black hole, next to another
Black hole, surrounded
By the cold wet black of
Above that inquiring nose
Two deep reflective brown eyes
Gaze up at me, with
Golden red fluffy ears
Framing that adorable face.
Lying at my feet the
Soft tongue begins a
Ritual of caresses.
Tail of feathered tendrils begins
A slow thumping, wagging, hoping.
Scratching that special spot near the remarkable
Expressive furry flag with my left hand
I reach across, scooping up the crunchy
Handing one treat to gently grasping
Teeth while stroking the long soft back,
Watching his enjoyment, simple, pure,
I grasp the second treat, offering
That crisp pleasure food to
One more long pet across his
Auburn and white back,
He gazes, expectant, then gently
Pads to his pillow, sighs, and
And I am grateful.
By Athena Maria with Maria Iliou
Pink cat emerges
Upon my paper
Touch of paintbrush
In corner of my mind
I am rainbows
Sunshine on a
I am strong
I can accomplish
My gifts as artist
by CarolAnn Edscorn
Humming. Breathing. Pausing.
Humming. Breathing. Pausing.
Breath filling cavity,
Bones crackle and creak with
The least movement.
But, oh, the brain, the mind!
Quotes from books.
Words from lyrics.
Expressions swirling from films.
Humming. Breathing. Pausing.
Body chooses action!
Stand, rise, minute evolution.
Right hand lifts and, circling, begins a
Circle dancing, graceful fingers
Arch, stretch, rotate.
The body follows those fingers.
Humming, breathing. Pausing.
Pitch becomes a tone.
Tone becomes a chord.
Tones become a melody.
The melody and the body
Music and stars and sunlight shining
I become the light shining.
By Sherin Mary Zacharia
Severe pain wriggles out from my heart,
from my soul ; the light shines far away.
Right within my throat the words hurry
to breach the fortress, annoying my lips.
Roses bloom in sunlight , my eyes pleased by
nothing bright, turns to lonely shadows.
Some way which will take me higher and high
above my limits; every day I try to find.
Utter envy fills my days as I struggle to set afloat
written thoughts, while others shout their hearts aloud.
Trust not any stories cool, or pictures perfect;
every day is a challenge but worth taking a chance.
We Are All in It Together
By Kimberly Gerry Tucker, Art of Autism Board Member
I sat here staring at the blank computer page for more time than I care to admit, trying to find the words to introduce “Climate Action for Change”, and our 4th Annual Poems & Art for Peace Project. So… here goes. I was in the grocery store the other day, and as is usually the case, the colorful produce section was worthy of a photo shoot; with its waist-high boxes full of watermelons, lemons piled high, bunches of curly kale… Stacks so high of green, red, and yellow peppers, that some had rolled onto the floor.
I read a lot of books and I have read many stories of food scarcity, people in long lines unable to obtain the staples of human diet, never mind the extras, the bounty I see when I enter a store. And what does that have to do with peace? I am thankful for these rows of food; how can I not be affected? How can we take it for granted? I know we have these overflowing store shelves because we have a system in place in our country. During wartime I know that people were unable to purchase sugar without government-issued food coupons. Vouchers for coffee were introduced too, and by March of 1943, meat, cheese, fats, canned fish, canned milk and other processed foods in America, were added to the list of rationed provisions. I don’t take this stuff for granted. There’s a harmony to the textures and colors in the produce section that brings me great peace.
They say that bees are responsible for one in three bites of food we eat. Over the summer, I saw a giant hive attached to my adjacent neighbor’s living room window. What a wonder! I supposed the bee chose that location because of the vegetable and flower gardens surrounding that house. How chosen he was, how lucky. One day I came home to see my neighbor in a protective bee suit, squirting the hive with a wand that shot out poison. Why, I thought sadly? In the woods comprising his backyard, he wore a bee suit for his protection. There was no protection for the bees! Could he not have walked it into the woods and relocated it? It seemed hostile to me.
I fear people seldom look at a bigger picture of the world. Perhaps it is just me and what seems a scarcity of others who care so deeply, mourning those bees and not anyone else. We hope you will enjoy this year’s series of poetry and art submitted by poets and artists all over the world, and that you will seek peace, share peace, design peace, and desire peace in this world in which we live. We hope you will join us in taking action throughout September, and everyday.
Here are just some of the many Peace Day activities that have taken place across the globe:
*Minute of silence at 12 noon (all time zones) *Peace education events *Intercultural and interfaith dialogues *Workshops on the UN Peace Day theme *Meditation and prayer *Planting peace poles *Community gatherings *Vigils *Concerts and festivals *Soccer/football matches in the spirit of peace *Service to others *Feasts for Peace *Writing peace poetry *Yoga *Marches, parades and flag ceremonies *Public programs with government officials *Engaging youth in peace-building activities.
For more information visit https://internationaldayofpeace.org/get-involved/
Header Art: Kimberly Gerry-Tucker