Secular Poems for Peace- Sue Mayer

Once Upon a Time


Vulture Capitalism

A Secular Prayer for Humanity

Toy Guns

Learning the Lessons


Once upon a time

In summer Ď46

The local kids

Ran down the local rec.


To cheer the Russian heroes

Touring Cossacks, riding horses

Displaying wondrous skills.


That summer all the kids played 'Cossacks'

Instead of cowboy games.

Then Britainís Russian friends were gone

And never seen again.


Then the chill of winter

Our friends became our foes

The yanks became our cold war chums

The bulldog to its master

----------------SM 2007



If war is a cloud

The spoils are the silver lining.


----------------SM 2007






Mother nature Mother earth

Of which we are a part

To you I give this prayer


No God to trust

This world is all we have

Heaven or hell we can create


Each new life a mouth to feed

For joy or desperation

So 'every child a wanted child'


For ours is one  lifetime

Not for power or for glory

But for pleasure for ever




----------------SM 2007




Vulture Capitalism


War makes money, money, money

Creating fear makes money, money

Disasters make money, money. money

Kill the people, clear the land

Take the oil for money money money.


Who makes the money?

Who calls the tune?

Who makes threats of  terror?

Who makes the people cringe with fear

Give up their hard won freedom?


But people donít like wars

....................and bombing isnít nice.

So how to make them acquiesce?

And think itís for the best?

A War on Terror sounds OK

Scare them witless thatís how


Who calls the shots

Who picks the bones

Who rakes in the cash

The capitalist  Vultures

Thatís who


----------------SM 2007



These were written to be read at a meeting of peace activists some of whom assume that their religions are the only legitimate basis for peace activism. I see secularism and the struggle against superstition and sectarianism as essential for world peace. I needed to say this without confronting them too harshly


1) A Secular Prayer for Humanity

Let us not ask to be delivered from evil.
But deliver ourselves and our country

From Superstition born of fear.
From Prejudice born of dogma.
From Poverty born of Greed
Competition born of culture.
From Racism born of ignorance.
From Conflict born of power.

For these are the causes of war.

----------------SM 2004




I also read my much earlier verse inspired by a leaflet created by the Women's League for Peace and Freedom on war toys. The argument is that too many men do not grow out of the child-like excitement of guns!





The inspiration for this little verse came from an early leaflet on why not to buy war toys- The main point being that some people never grow out out of the excitement and the message of that childish 'fun'


Toy Guns

Bang, Bang
Fall down
"Again!" "Again!"

Shotgun Pellets.
Band Bang

Real gun.
Real bullets
Bang Bang

(?date Late '60s,early '70s.)




Learning the Lessons

Look Back

Look back and learn from the past.
Look back to the prayers that did not get answered.
To the death and destruction of past generations.

Look back to the old divine order,
To the buying and selling of women and children.
Betrothal for power and gain.

Look back to the armies of Christendom
With knights and saints at their head,
Bringing the heathen to heel.

Enough of this talking in riddles.
Look back to the cruel suppression
Of those with diff'rent beliefs.

Look back to the burning of torture
Of those who dared to oppose,
And the wholesale oppression of women


See now what hinders the making of peace.
How the age old beliefs still hold sway.
See now what it is that keeps people apart.
See still the sectarian strife.

Look forward

Look forward to shedding irrational belief.
Look forward to thinking anew.
To ditching the old superstitions
To a new dawn of rational thought.

----------------SM 2004

From 'Transience' the Verses of a Woman Freethinker