100 Years of Peace

(Lyrics for a Song Not Written)

To Amitav Ghosh

I’m not asking, (No!), for the Millennium—
I’m not asking, (No!), for Jesus Christ to come—
I’m not asking, (No!), for everlasting bliss—
I just want 100 years of peace.

I won’t kill you, you won’t kill me,
Trying to be first or trying to be free—
I won’t drop the hammer, you won’t drop the Bomb—
I just want 100 years of calm.

I won’t rip you off, you won’t rip me up,
I won’t steal your plate, you won’t steal my cup—
Either of us has got a need, neither will deny it—
I just want 100 years of quiet.

We’ve been taking long enough, we could try some giving—
We’ve been hating hot enough, we could try forgiving—
We’ve been preaching, we’ve been teaching, been attacking, been attacked—
I just want 100 years of tact.

We’ve been talking loud enough, so we’ll try less talking—
We’ve been riding high enough, so we’ll try more walking—
East and West, we’ve been obsessed with who’s better, with who’s best—
I just want 100 years of rest.

Not consuming, not presuming, not insisting, not enlisting
Not entombing, not exhuming, not persisting, not resisting,
Not extracting or exacting more than what we’ve got—
I just want 100 years of not.

Hands are numb upon the wheel, hearts are sick of violence—
Emptiness sets up a squeal, meaning drowns in silence—
Centuries pass, suffering grows—time we had release—
I just want 100 years of peace.

(Stop the world—I want to get on…)

by Patrick Diehl