CPERG Peace, Art, and Poetry

CPERG Peace, Art and Poetry

By CPERG Team & Attendees

Wed, 22 Nov 2023, 10 AM - 12 PM UK Time, Faculty of Education & Online

Thank you to those who attended! We had a wonderful and peaceful morning of sharing poetry and songs (including original pieces!), and fellowship.

Below you can find some of the poems and lyrics of songs that were shared by attendees, as well as pictures of the event:

How to grieve in the open air


A wildflower

flora is lost to the cold alone, stems whipping at the ground

fish swim in tiny crescents

preserve the balance of water

rows of trees distend

staggering shadows with sunlight like loss

stories have already told me

bound to mountains unable to command the seasons

it is winter because the dusk is charcoal

I approach the smell of your fire

we break in a whisper



when I reach for you

my arm moves between segments of ivory light

dust floats to the ground in sheets

a wind softer than the old song

rustles as a breath askew

shallow trees lengthways at the surface

discard bark shrouds


Into the valley

plants don’t grow by the smell of water

honeysuckle spices in the hill’s recess

cascades to the river’s edge

birds blur to still on plate-glass ripples

tepid clouds upside-down

I squint to the peak

by Alison J Barton

This poem first appeared in 'Pratik: a magazine of contemporary writing', Fire and Rain edition, 2022. 

AIRE (By: Encarnacion Hidalgo Tenorio)

Aire, aire, aire, aire

Tú eres sólo aire y nada más

Aire, aire, aire, aire

Ya no te veré nunca nunca más

Y yo no sé, qué hacer, a dónde, ir, sin ti, yo no sé nada

Sólo hay dolor, sólo, dolor, no hay calor, estás tan lejos


Aire, aire, aire, aire, aire

Ya siento que no puedo respirar

I let you go, I let, you go, you left, my home, I’ll never see you

And if you go, and if you go, and if you go, I’ll never hear you


Aire, aire, aire, aire, aire, aire

Qué triste es que-te dejara marchar

Y tú eres mi aire, estás en mí, te siento cerca, y es a través de ti que puedo ver

Yo sólo sé, que eres la voz, eres mi voz, te oigo dentro

Y sólo sé, que eres mi luz, eres la luz, dentro te veo


Aire, aire, aire, aire, aire

Ahora ya sí puedo respirar

Aire, aire, aire, aire, aire

Eres ese aire que la vida me da

You’re on my skin, you’re on my skin, you speak through me, I feel you inside me

Estás aquí, ya no hay dolor, todo es calor, la luz me inunda


Air, air, air, air, air, air

I’ll never never ever let you go

----reflections after Lemn Sissay 21.11.2023

Antiutopia. Slavery/Stability is not peace. Peace implies the ethical balance, freedom 

So, what is the peace

That let there be ?

I question trees  

That doesn't move

a single leaf

I ask the silver beams 

That shine from stars

Throughout the frozen rain 

The early morning ice 

That locks the forest  

With the lack of hope and invisible chains 

So, what is the peace 

That let there be ?

I ask the northern wind that

whispers, even cries 

Emerging from the pole

And forms a giant crystal

In all dimensions

That endless cruise to whiteness.

The peaceful planet now reflects the death

And the only direction albatros can fly is 

Down to earth, and never east or west 

So, what is the peace 

That let there be ?

The global warming fails  

against the peaceful frozen state 

When asked for a bit of heat

When there is no passion,

No fox will ever eat that little bird

No evolution happens

No balance of warmth and cold 

Love and hate

Life and death 

So, what is the peace 

That let there be ?

read by Nikolai Kazantsev

Saying Good-bye to Cambridge Again

Very quietly I take my leave,

As quietly as I came here;

Quietly I wave good-bye,

To the rosy clouds in the western sky.

The golden willows by the riverside,

Are young brides in the setting sun;

Their reflections on the shimmering waves,

Always linger in the depth of my heart.

The floating heart growing in the sludge,

Sways leisurely under the water;

In the gentle waves of Cambridge,

I would be a water plant!

That pool under the shade of elm trees,

Holds not water but the rainbow from the sky;

Shattered to pieces among the duckweeds,

Is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream.

To seek a dream? Just to pole a boat upstream,

To where the green grass is more verdant;

Or to have the boat fully loaded with starlight,

And sing aloud in the splendor of starlight.

But I cannot sing aloud,

Quietness is my farewell music;

Even summer insects keep silence for me,

Silent is Cambridge tonight!

Very quietly I take my leave,

As quietly as I came here;

Gently I flick my sleeves,

Not even a wisp of cloud will I bring away.

by Xu Zhimo, ready by Marcela Wang


There’s a hole the size of a pencil tip

in the bamboo wall of our house. 

Not so long ago Little Daughter 

piled thanaka on her cheeks and 

disappeared into that hole. 

She is gone for a long time. 

Mother can’t wait any longer. 

She peeps into the hole and finds 

herself looking down a gun muzzle. 

In the background is a gala dinner,

where Myanmar in blood and gore 

is chopped up and served. 

At the top of the grand table sits 

the pagoda donor, sipping a 

glass of Little Daughter’s blood. 

The dead wail in the darkness outside.

Mother passes out, repeating

My Little Daughter, my Little Daughter!

Father gets curious and looks into the hole.

Family members take turns 

peeping into that hole. 

Today each and every person in this country 

has a tiny hole as big as a pencil tip 

in their chest. 

by Min San Wai

translated from Burmese by ko ko thett

read by Lin Wai Phyo

This poem first appeared in 'Adi Magazine: Rehumanising Policy', Spring 2021. https://adimagazine.com/articles/hole/  

We fear no one

Koi thi ame dariye na

We fear no one

‘Ne koine pan daraaviye na

Nor shall we instill fear

Ame abhayni tek lidhi chhe

Our oath is one of fearlessness

Koi di poonth bataaviye na

Our backs shall never turn

Naa, naa, naa!

No, no, no!

Hinsa amne khapti nathi; ahinsak chhe aa senaa

Useless is violence; ours is a nonviolent army

Manma chhupaavyu ver nathi

In our minds, no vengeful shadows lurk

‘Ne dilma bharyu jher chhe na

In our hearts, no poison stirs

Badlo amaare vaalvo nathi

We seek not to settle ancient scores

‘Ne dushman eke mer chhe na

For enemies, we have none

Naa, naa, naa!

No, no, no!

Hinsa amne khapti nathi; ahinsak chhe aa senaa

Useless is violence; ours is a nonviolent army

Koina chagaavya chagta nathi

No puppet strings shall guide our will

Kashaathi ame chagshu na

Nor deceitful veils obscure our sight

Juna hisaabo chukavava nathi

Old debts, we wish not to repay

Juna gaana gaaie na

Nor sing of past sorrows

Naa, naa, naa!

No, no, no!

Hinsa amne khapti nathi; ahinsak chhe aa senaa

Useless is violence; ours is a nonviolent army

Satyani taakaat premni taakaat

Strength lies in truth, in love’s embrace

Shareerbalni vaat chhe na

Not in the might of the flesh

Aatma keri amogh taakaat

The soul’s power, profoundly immense

Dehni kai visaat chhe na

Eclipses bodily strength

Naa, naa, naa!

No, no, no, no!

Hinsa amne khapti nathi; ahinsak chhe aa senaa

Useless is violence; ours is a nonviolent army


by Narayan Desai

sang by Abhishek Vyas