Portland Peace Choir celebrates its fifth anniversary with “Be the Light: Five Years of Music for Peace”, an evening concert of favorites from its first four years. The Choir will premiere a new work too: a musical setting of this William Stafford poem to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the poet’s birth.

The new work is written by SE composer and pianist Beth Ariel Karp and the Peace Choir is directed by David Edwards.

This free, family-friendly concert is Saturday, May 17 at 7 pm, at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church, 2800 SE Harrison St.

PPC is a community choir welcoming all voices singing songs of peace, justice, and joy in a supportive environment where all skill levels are welcome. Contact them at www.portlandpeacechoir.org or call 503.482.9630. Listen to William Stafford read his poem at www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/237528

At The Un-National Monument Along The Canadian Border

by William Stafford



This is the field where the battle did not happen,

where the unknown soldier did not die.

This is the field where grass joined hands,

where no monument stands,

and the only heroic thing is the sky.


Birds fly here without any sound,

unfolding their wings across the open.

No people killed—or were killed—on this ground

hallowed by neglect and an air so tame

that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.



Copyright ©1998 by William Stafford