Today, 6.8.14, St. Louis

Today, a Prayer for Peace or Henry’s Plan for Peace

Sunday, June 8, 2014, Pope Francis, President Shimon Peres and President Mahmoud Abbas gather in the Vatican to pray for the gift of peace in the Middle East, #weprayforpeace. For the first time Jewish, Christian and Islamic prayers will be held together in the Vatican. Italian, English, Hebrew, Arabic. We are watching 1 Henry IV 2 Henry IV in St. Louis, Missouri. English.

Pay attention to this day
Why not peace through prayer
Why not in the Vatican
With its conflicted history
Why not President Peres and President Abbas
And all the histories of violence and recrimination:
History-less-ness declare at the beginning of peace-making
Forgiveness and the absence of history.

Why not here in Shakespeare’s sequence
Its terrible history
Insult and shame and lust and vengeance and
On this day can we let it pass without
Acknowledging the intersection of events of small and great
Intersecting right here right now
This resting place in an oasis of one century 21
Here the United States of America
In this noble heart-line city
Named for the Louis who himself brought two Crusades:

Louis IX 13th c.
Captured by Egyptians in his first Crusade
Settling Aco Caesarea and Yafo
Building defenses for future Crusades.

He would go on two of them dying at the eighth crusade
Known as the only Canonized King of France
Responsible for mass burnings of the Talmud
Expanding the Inquisition in France, the nobility of his titular:
“the lieutenant of God on earth.”

Louis — I live in your city of the future and am speaking
Peace and forgiveness
On a day that happens this way
Only Once
Like/Unlike all other days.

In this set of histories we are watching
Crusades are in the future
On this meadow in a park
They are the past.

How this intersects Here Now
Without a pause and a breath and a
Feeling for the past and a prayer for the future
And an Intention for Something
Out of something Old —
This is the Story.

Oh St. Louis person of the past
Lieutenant of God on earth
Turn over your dominion to the peace-makers
The peace-making that will arise out of uncertainty.

Oh past: One day you will Give up your certainty
And Inevitable peace will be made face to face
Without history.

The peace-makers will have to put our histories in our pockets
Isn’t it worth a temporary
For peace?

Let us all take our histories when we are making peace
And put them in a notebook
For peace-making we have to begin and we have to begin

We listen.

For now we will put our histories away
Peace starts now
With a prayer
With an intentioned history-less-ness
We may trot our stories out later but for now —
We are listening.

Let the peace start now
We will earn each other’s stories
When we sit and eat together
When our children come to know each other
When we listen to each other’s music
When we recite our poetry to each other —

When we come to know we are more similar
Than we are separate
Then we will unpack our histories
And tell them like a story redeemed for sacred rite from
Their storehouses.

Let the peace start now.

O St. Louis
O crusader
O lieutenant of God on earth
Give up your title
Turn your acquisitions over to the peace-makers
Be listeners.

This prayer for peace —

O St. Louis
The heart-line of a new country
In this place named for you
We are listening to each other
We have our stories in our pockets
Let the peace begin in the most unlikely places
The most unlikely ways.

Let it emanate outward from every known and unknown place
Why not St. Louis.

Why not the great river cities
Plant an olive tree
Why not Rome in prayer

Italian, English, Hebrew, Arabic
Italian, English, Hebrew, Arabic
Italian, English, Hebrew, Arabic

Why not every place human being turning to human being and speaking
This truth:

I am you and
You are me

And we are all