Teach us the ways of gentleness (of peace).
Teach us to recall the faces we’ve seen
Or despaired of ever seeing:

The faces that tell us,
Unreservedly, they are for us.
Not, now, for themselves
Or their pressing needs.
Not for an end that makes
Them mean and us their means.
Not our competition, nor our
Customers (they are not always right).
Faces freely offering themselves
In a moment, for our use
(Or abuse)

The faces that allow us,
Yield to us time and space and
Courage – to confess, to confide.
Those rare pacific Others
Before whom our guard can
Relax, our doors open, whom
We can (exhausted, relieved)
At last trust (believe in; have faith).
Faces to be weak with, to be
Poor, woundable, tearful;
Unafraid. The faces that launch
A thousand hopes & dreams;
The foundation and springboard
Of all endeavour:
“You are not alone.”

The faces that gaze out
Lovingly, from lap dogs,
Infants (they have not learned
‘Better’). The faces of parents,
Sometimes, if we are lucky,
Of friends and lovers, perhaps,
If luckier still. How fortunate,
Then, we happy creatures,
If our Maker’s face should
Likewise gaze, from eyes like
Ours, not merely human but
Poor, hurt, emptied, harmless; greeting
Us with our own words, bearing
Neither judgement
Nor threat…

Yet see the mighty tremble!
See how we fear the one with
Nothing to lose (and all to give
Away)! See how we bear injustice’s
Taint, and side with foes, that we
May silence this silent voice,
This face so gentle, even the weakest
(We) could despise and reject it
With impunity, without cost,
Except that of peace with
One another, and with
Ourselves.

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