THE ART OF PEACE Where Are the Bridge-Builders? by Kayt Pearl The world is exploding. Acrimony smothering the news front All pages turned, All buttons clicked lead to doom…. Of a person, a home, a nation, a people, a trust, ….a bridge. Where are the bridge-builders? We must be relentless. Scraping together the rubble blasted from once-firm foundations, Pouring the glue of humanity, the fertilizer of constancyin-repair over the steaming shrapnel. Conspiring storytellers spit rhetoric for followers Anti-anything headlines insidiously cloaked like Disney animation. It is there, in the entertainment and laughter, in the innocence and candor. Acculturated racism, like silent poison in the water supply. We are pocketing false change every time we blindly read and believe. Swallowing plastic, and waxed cardboard Calling it food Accepting credit like it was a lifeline. Walking faulty bridges to Pleasure Island. We’ve been marooned. Where. Are. The. Bridge-Builders? 32 IMAGINE l SPRING 2016 I feel as though my tongue is being held captive by an army of swords. Any talk will cut someone. I am afraid I will flounder on my disbelief and fall silent anyway. My eyes choked On story after story War field after killing field, parading as greener pastures. What is this madness in the brain. Sickness in the heart. Our disputes turning rivers to cement And from the crumbling dust of what once was life, We make our bread. Even without the water We will be drowned, starved, and poisoned By that off which we feed. In my prayers I hear “All of this is necessary.” Plagues of derangement and rage The world collapsing in on itself while Conquerors detonate Enmity inflames, Fires catch like contagious contempt. Blood boils up through every crevice, Every corner and curve of this majestic planet As if to say “No stone unturned.” The alchemy The transmutation Must touch Each and every fiber of sentience. So no one will forget. No one will forget.