A Patient Wind of Peace
By Henry Howard
For every mighty blaze of freedom,
there is a patient wind of peace
to keep the spark alive,
a gentle but persistent gale of hope to sweep
the world clear of its debris of war and fear.
While everyone knows the name
of Mother Theresa,
you are the quiet Sister Theresa,
who teaches the oppressed to liberate themselves,
who teaches the liberated to free humanity,
who feeds the hungry,
and feeds those hungry for the secrets
of building a better a world.
Your husband’s name is pronounced
like the mighty blaze of justice
that helps to light the common fire,
and fights for those whom injustice keeps apart.
But you are the wind at his back
that keeps the flames alive and bright,
in the streets of protest and the sacred depths of the heart.
From the vast colonias of Chile’s poor
to a soup kitchen in Santa Monica
that fills the belly
and serves love to the soul,
you are the wind that lifts the sails
of the Good Ship Bonpane,
on a voyage to make the world healed and whole.
Blase is a brilliant thinker,
and a speaker who moves thousands
when the battle-lines are bristling.
But it is from you that the soldiers of peace
crave soft hugs and words of hope
when the battle quiets for the night,
banners fold, and bullets stop whistling.
Side by side,
a mighty blaze of freedom
and a patient wind of peace,
Blase and Theresa,
a light that shines in the darkness,
a force for good that will never cease!
Henry Howard was a poet of
peace and justice.
He passed away last month at 60.
This poem from his last published volume was a paean to Theresa and Blase Bonpane of
the Office of the Americas, with whom he often collaborated, and serves as a memorial
to him as well as to Blasel.