Sunday, 1 May 2016


Yesterday Daniel Berrigan: priest, poet, protester and peacemaker died just short of his 95th birthday. He may not have had the media presence of many of those whose deaths facebook has mourned in 2016, but of all those who have been on the social media roll call to heaven so far this year, for me, he is without a doubt the greatest.

I often post poetry here: usually it is my own. Today though, I'm making an exception and posting one of his. One that speaks of how he kept going for so long. one that resonates, as many of his words do, with both inspiration and challenge.

If, in the face of vast American might, he never lost sight of the possibility of an alternative, it was perhaps because he realised that while the commitment to the powers of war, death and destruction was total; too often those who spoke for peace lacked the same energy and dedication. 

All it would take, then, to change the world would be for those who say we believe in peace to approach the task of creating it same with the same commitment and prepared to take the same risks as those who wage war.

He did exactly that, living by what he believed and inspiring others along the way.

His is a voice and a life which continues to challenge. It is a challenge I know I am not yet living up to. I know I want to try.

Some: A Poem by Daniel Berrigan

Some stood up once, and sat down.
Some walked a mile, and walked away.

Some stood up twice, then sat down.
"It's too much," they cried.
Some walked two miles, then walked away.
"I've had it," they cried.

Some stood, and stood, and stood.
They were taken for being fools,
they were taken for being taken in.

Some walked, and walked, and walked - 
they walked the earth,
they walked the waters,
they walked the air.

"Why do you stand?" they were asked, and
"Why do you walk?"

"Because of the children," they said, and
"Becuase of the heart," and
"Because of the bread,"

"Because the cause is
The heart's beat, and
The children born, and
The risen bread."

RIP Daniel Berrigan (9th May 1921 - 30th April 2016)

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