The icy winter swallows our summers, but
spring will come to sweep away the snow,
to put an end to the need for prophets and
the old maps, to birth a new day incising hope
and joy on the hearts of the distraught. We’ll be
the waterlilies rising from the muck of eons,
silence erasing desire, fears fading into the ether.
Our aspirations will eat strife and respect will
displace the hard weight of deceit and horror.
Your very breath will become the breeze that
cools my cheek, my brow the cloth that dries
your tears . . .You may say I’m a dreamer,
but embedded in that modern psalm is
The Last Word of History: Peace!
– Jamie Dedes
When asked about the song’s meaning during a December 1980 interview with David Sheff for Playboy magazine, Lennon told Sheff that Dick Gregory had given Ono and him a Christian prayer book, which inspired in him the concept behind Imagine.
“The concept of positive prayer … If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion—not without religion but without this my God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing—then it can be true … the World Church called me once and asked, “Can we use the lyrics to ‘Imagine’ and just change it to ‘Imagine one religion’?’ That showed [me] they didn’t understand it at all. It would defeat the whole purpose of the song, the whole idea.” John Lennon
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“Non-violence means dialogue, using our language, the human language. Dialogue means compromise; respecting each other’s rights; in the spirit of reconciliation there is a real solution to conflict and disagreement. There is no hundred percent winner, no hundred percent loser—not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way.”
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace. The aspiration for peace will not be disappointed forever. Work for peace, inspired by charity which does not pass away, will produce its fruits. Peace will be the last word of History.”
– Pope John Paul II, Message for World Day of Peace, 1 January 1979
“That some of those labelled as enemies
have crossed the lines to offer condolences
at the mourning tents; that the mourning
families spoke to each other as parents
and cried on each others’ shoulders;
that we cried for the children who died
on both sides of the divide; that the
war began anyway; that hope must
still remain with those who cross
borders, ignore false lines and divisions;
that children should be allowed to live;
that we must cry for all children who die”
© 2015,poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photograph, Barbara Stone (The List of Buddha Lists), All rights reserved