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Mari Evans from her book of essays Clarity As Concept

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“Listening is a special art. It is a fine art developed by practice. One hears the unexpressed as clearly as if it had been verbalized. One hears silence screaming in clarion tones. Ninety decibels. Hears tears, unshed, falling. Hears hunger gnawing at the back of spines; hears aching feet pushed past that one more step. Hears the repressed hurt of incest, hears the anguish of spousal abuse. Hears it all. Clearly, listening is a fine art. It can translate an obscure text into reality that walks, weeps and carries its own odor. Listening can decode a stranger’s eye and hear autobiography. Listening can watch a listless babe and understand the absence of future, the improbability, in fact, of possibility. Listening, more often than not, is a crushing experience.”

Mari Evans

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Peace Is Active

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“PEACE IS ACTIVE” By Jeanette Sena Mühlmann 

Peace does not mean to watch silently

While injustice spreads its dark wings;

Peace does not mean to bite your tongue

While others use their elbows;

Peace does not mean to sacrifice your left cheek

While your right cheek is bleeding;

Peace does not mean to hide your light

under a bushel

While you are skilled and able;

Peace does not mean that others are allowed

to take advantage of your talents

While you can hardly survive!

Wake up, open your mouth and speak!

Peace is not weak!

Peace is active

Peace is a decision!

And I’m Telling You

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Silence by Kay Ryan

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Silence

Silence is not snow,
It cannot grow
deeper. A thousand years
of it are thinner
than paper. So
we must have it
all wrong
when we feel trapped
like mastodons.

 Kay Ryan (from The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, p. 125)

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