A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Our apologies good friends
for the fracture of good order the burning of paper
instead of children the angering of the orderlies
in the front parlor of the charnel house
We could not so help us God do otherwise
For we are sick at heart
Our hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land of Burning Children …
We say: Killing is disorder
life and gentleness and community and unselfishness
is the only order we recognize …
How long must the world’s resources
be raped in the service of legalized murder?
When at what point will you say no to this war?
We have chosen to say
with the gift of our liberty
if necessary our lives:
the violence stops here
the death stops here
the suppression of the truth stops here
this war stops here …
Copyright 2016 the estate of Daniel Berrigan. Quoted by Chris Hedges in TruthDig.
In her eulogy, Elizabeth McAllister, Dan’s sister-in-law, read this poem that he wrote for the group known as the Catonsville Nine who in 1968 burned 378 draft files of young men—most of them African-American—about to be sent to Vietnam. Berrigan, a Jesuit priest, spent 18 months in Federal prison for the crime.