Poems for Peace competition – Highly Commended: Rosie Lewis

Contributor/s : Rosie Lewis

Recorded on date : January 28, 2021

Recorded at Location : Society of Authors

A Polite Request

Do not cast aside the ties that bind us,

Without them we are isolated,

And without the fellowship of other nations,

We are fearful, capricious and febrile.

Do not cut the bonds of trade,

And thereby sever the prosperity,

And the mutual benefit that commerce brings;

It overrides the desire to damage and destroy.

Do not underestimate the fragility of peace,

Or assume that privilege will persist if not guarded,

Do not cast away what was so hard fought,

Without a thought for what will rush to fill the void.

Do not, with your pencil, strike unthinking,

Fuelled by outrage and broken promises,

The statutes and treaties that fetter our excesses,

And temper our compulsion to hate and attack.

The bureaucratic creep of democracy,

Shackled in law and obligation does not,

Have the romanticism of nationhood and glory,

But provides peace, stability and protection.

Do not let your arrogant stamp of outrage,

Extinguish the memories of a century of war and conflict,

That have shaped our nation and tethered our future,

To that of our allies and our enemies as one.

We have not earned the right to cast off the restraints,

When we ourselves have not fought for the privilege,

Or agreed to the provisions for everlasting peace,

To save us from enduring the anguish and cruelty of war.

Do build upon the wisdom of others,

Climb upon their shoulders to survey,

Their world that laid the foundation,

For all we have today; the freedoms we enjoy.

We must create our own path, pragmatic and true,

With twists and turns to accommodate our new world,

And not allow our outrage to blaze fast and quick,

And turn to dust all that is dear; the true legacy of our forefathers.

Rosie Lewis

13 years old

Chelmsford County High School for Girls

More from Awards and Prizes

Sky Arts RSL Writers Awards

Companions of Literature

RSL International Writers

Become a Member

Our Members are champions of literature. Their support makes our engagement work in schools and prisons possible and they enable us to celebrate literature in all its wonderful diversity. As a thank you, we give them all the joys of a literary festival and book club rolled into one, all year round.