A Peace Poem by Thich Nhat Hanh

I don’t know if this is violating any copyright things, and I guess I don’t even know if this was actually written by Thich Nhat Hanh–I only saw it on another message board–but it’s damn beautiful and it made me cry and I wanted to share it.

(by Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh)

I am a World Trade Center tower, standing tall in the clear blue sky,
feeling a violent blow in my side, and
I am a towering inferno of pain and suffering imploding upon myself and
collapsing to the ground.
May I rest in peace.

I am a terrified passenger on a hijacked airplane not knowing where we
are going or that I am riding on fuel tanks that will be instruments of
death, and
I am a worker arriving at my office not knowing that in just a moment
future will be obliterated.
May I rest in peace.

I am a pigeon in the plaza between the two towers eating crumbs from
someone’s breakfast when fire rains down on me from the skies, and
I am a bed of flowers admired daily by thousands of tourists now buried
under five stories of rubble.
May I rest in peace.

I am a firefighter sent into dark corridors of smoke and debris on a
mission of mercy only to have it collapse around me, and
I am a rescue worker risking my life to save lives who is very aware
that I may not make it out alive.
May I rest in peace.

I am a survivor who has fled down the stairs and out of the building to
safety who knows that nothing will ever be the same in my soul again,
I am a doctor in a hospital treating patients burned from head to toe
who knows that these horrible images will remain in my mind forever.
May I know peace.

I am a tourist in Times Square looking up at the giant TV screens
thinking I’m seeing a disaster movie as I watch the Twin Towers crash
to the ground, and
I am a New York woman sending e-mails to friends and family letting
know that I am safe.
May I know peace.

I am a piece of paper that was on someone’s desk this morning and now
I’m debris scattered by the wind across lower Manhattan, and
I am a stone in the graveyard at Trinity Church covered with soot from
the buildings that once stood proudly above me, d! death meeting death.
May I rest in peace.

I am a dog sniffing in the rubble for signs of life, doing my best to
of service, and
I am a blood donor waiting in line to make a simple but very needed
contribution for the victims.
May I know peace.

I am a resident in an apartment in downtown New York who has been
to evacuate my home, and
I am a resident in an apartment uptown who has walked 100 blocks home
a stream of other refugees.
May I know peace.

I am a family member who has just learned that someone I love has died,
I am a pastor who must comfort someone who has suffered a
heart-breaking loss.
May I know peace.

I am a loyal American who feels violated and vows to stand behind any
military action it takes to wipe terrorists off the face of the earth,
I am a loyal American who feels violated and worries that people who
look and sound like me are all going to be blamed for this tragedy.
May I know peace.

I am a frightened city dweller who wonders whether I’ll ever feel safe
in a skyscraper again, and
I am a pilot who wonders whether there will ever be a way to make the
skies truly safe.
May I know peace.

I am the owner of a small store with five employees that has been put
out of business by this tragedy, and
I am an executive in a multinational corporation who is concerned about
the cost of doing business in a terrorized world.
May I know peace.

I am a visitor to New York City who purchases postcards of the World
Trade Center Twin Towers that are no more, and
I am a television reporter trying to put into words the terrible things
I have seen.
May I know peace.

I am a boy in New Jersey waiting for a father who will never come home,
I am a boy in a faraway country rejoicing in the streets of my village
because someone has hurt the hated Americans.
May I know peace.

I am a general talking into the microphones about how we must stop
the terrorist cowards who have perpetrated this heinous crime, and
I am an intelligence officer trying to discern how such a thing could
have happened on American soil, and
I am a city official trying to find ways to alleviate the suffering of
May I know peace.

I am a terrorist whose hatred for America knows no limit and I am
willing to die to prove it, and
I am a terrorist sympathizer standing with all the enemies of American
capitalism and imperialism, and
I am a master strategist for a terrorist group who planned this
My heart is not yet capable of openness, tolerance, and loving.
May I know peace.

I am a citizen of the world glued to my television set, fighting back
rage and despair at these horrible events, and
I am a person of faith struggling to forgive the unforgivable, praying
for the consolation of those who have lost loved ones, calling upon the
merciful beneficence of God/Yahweh/Allah/Spirit/Higher Power.
May I know peace.

I am a child of God who believes that we are all children of God and we
are all part of each other.
May we all know peace.

While I do not share the author’s pacifism and concern for the attackers, I do respect them. It’s beautiful sentiment, and thanks for posting it.