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.

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