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This is our Hope

A country divided, a country at war with itself. 
With nothing to gain but everything to lose. 
The conflict persists.

Another day passes, and with another death dies sanity, 
Suffocated by the air of hatred and despair 
That engulfs our country.

Yet through the darkness appears the ray of hope. 
Individuals prepared to fight for justice and peace. 
Their only weapon love.

Like the dove of peace flying over the sea of tumult, 
So our belief is the hope for the future, 
And the end to the past.

A country united, a country at peace with itself, 
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, 
This is our hope.

Christine Mahood, aged 18.
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Peace is so important to us, 
We need it desperately. 
We have to stop this fighting, 
In our country. 
O why can't we just stop, 
And give it all a rest. 
Then everything would be perfect, 
And everything at its best. 
We've seen enough of bombing, 
And people killed each day. 
Our country is so beautiful, 
And that's the way it should stay.

Aaron Hanna, aged 10.

Give Peace a Chance

Give peace a chance that's what they say. 
Living with our countrymen - day by day. 
No more murders or bombs that go bang, 
But give us hope on which we can hang, 
Both sides together without a fight. 
Politicians together in an agreed site. 
Freedom to walk on the streets at night, 
Happy care free days that are always bright. 
O how we long for these days to return, 
Violence doesn't work is the lesson we learn.

Christopher Me Neill, aged 10.

Accomplish it Today

The green fields of this fair land, 
Have become places of war, 
And no one can remember, 
The peace there was before.

Violence and corruption, 
Have become part of daily life, 
And each individual has learned, 
To live a life of strife.

But now there is a glimmer, 
A tiny, ray of hope, 
Something that will help us, 
All to really cope.

Harmony is what we dream of, 
And it seems so far away, 
But if we work together, 
We can accomplish it today.

Lynsey English, aged 13.

'Peace is like a river that flows through the heart. 
We have to crave thus special gift, it's graces to impart.'

Blagheen Casement, aged 12.
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Let's Work Together

Peace is freedom 
But free from what ? 
From all the war 
From all of that.

Change the world, 
Forget the riot. 
Bring the peace, 
Peace and quiet.

What can we do ? 
What can we say ? 
To stop all the war, 
To take it away.

Born into fighting, 
Not into peace. 
Years of turmoil, 
When will it cease

No one wants this, 
We all feel the same. 
Let's work together, 
And find peace again.

Sonya Jones, aged 14
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Peace in Creation

Time didn't begin and never will end 
It's seen many things come and go, 
Time holds the secrets of many years past 
But the earth holds the secrets of woe. 
Whether created by a spirit called God 
Or evolved from the salt of the earth, 
Whatever it was that created man 
I've no doubt to a monster gave birth.

We began as primitive cavemen 
The hunters that couldn't be stopped, 
From simple spears we made of flint 
We worked our way to the top. 
At the peak of the great hierarchy 
The most civilised of the earth, 
We wanted power, got greed - then warfare 
As we strived to prove our worth.

Divided by so many elements 
We just couldn't see eye to eye 
Be it origin race or religion 
Solved by firework displays in the sky. 
You may stand in Northern Ireland 
With a flag in either hand 
Red white and blue, green white and gold 
The colours that split this land.

You may stand in Yugoslavia 
Yet another different kind 
Amongst Moslems, Serbs and Croats 
With a guard on either side.
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As you flick on the television 
Before the images meet your eyes, 
You know what you'll see is destruction 
But what everyone's asking is why ?

A black man standing in England 
To many a painful sight 
It's easy to pick him out in the crowd 
The black face among the white. 
A Catholic from the Short Strand 
Won't come down the Shankill Road 
A Protestant walking up the Falls 
Potential suicide mode.

We've discussed the past and the present 
Destruction is plain to see 
But what is the hope for the future ? 
Our world in union, together we'll be. 
So much out there, like time there's no end 
But we've still got the chance to redeem 
We can be the stars of that uncharted land 
Where peace isn't only a dream.

As I glance across the mountains 
The horizon is topped with sun 
But this beauty is marred by the silhouette 
Of a man holding out a gun. 
As I lie in Northern Ireland 
In a field on a summer's day 
The quiet's disturbed by the boom of a bomb 
Whose fault is it this time 'VF' or 'RA'.
As I stand in Yugoslavia 
I think you can guess the scene, 
Of a country shattered to pieces 
Is peace a forgotten has-been ?

But there's one Ray of Hope for the future 
A candle to light our way 
The good shall destroy the evil 
And peace will be here to stay. 
A last Ray of Hope for creation 
Lies in people created of good, 
They're often the ones who have suffered the most 
The ones in forgiving mood.

I used to think that peace was this 
A relief of physical pain 
The dawning of day on a stark dark night 
The rainbow after the rain. 
Peace doesn't begin universally 
Not even on earth does it start, 
I know where peace must really begin, 
It has to begin in your heart.

Lara Davidson , aged 14.



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A Meadow Filled with Golden Corn

A dove soaring high in the sky, 
With the wind whispering through its feathers. 
This is what peace is.

A meadow filled with golden corn, 
Bowing to each other in the gentle breeze. 
This is what peace is.

A swan gliding on the deep, still, waters, 
Its graceful head serene. 
This is what peace is.

Stillness and quiet. 
No noise except the contented breathing 
as you drift off to sleep. 
This is what peace is. 
This is what peace is.

Kerry Armstrong, aged 13.
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A New Tomorrow is Coming

Peace is here, 
I hope it will last. 
Let old memories 
Be a thing of the past. 
Bringing together the joy of peace 
Smiling faces in the street. 
Children playing side by side, 
Without fear and nothing to hide. 
A ray of sunshine peeping through, 
A whole new tomorrow is coming too.

Michelle Simpson. aged 11.

"We' re all looking for a Ray of Ape to bring us all together again."

Tara Miller, aged 11.

Peace all around the world. 
Every colour, race and creed. 
Allow one another to have their belief. 
Cease the violence, hatred and rage. 
Erase the bad memories.

Claire Walker, aged 13.
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Life without Hope

Full of despair, full of fear. 
I huddle in my shelter and shed a tear.

Those screams of pain they haunt my head, 
Like a long strange nightmare I had in bed. 
Back then I knew they were images of a far world unknown, 
But now reality has taken over, by God I feel alone.

I wish there was somebody out there who 
could answer my prayers of hope, 
But I know they have vanished long ago how long can I cope. 
The shelter is cold and unwelcoming - it 
matches by pessimistic mood, 
The water supplies are dwindling and there's 
a perishing store of food.

I guess I should be grateful being one of the surviving ones,
I've come through the great explosion 
wondering what's next to come. 
Are there others out there somewhere ? 
confused thoughts within my head.
I can but always remember the past and know you're never better off dead.

Jessica Bell, aged 14.

Let's Free the White Doves

Don't destroy my dreams, 
My hopes and my future. 
Let's free the white doves
For everyone's sake.

We want peace, 
And - we want it now. 
But without your help 
The question is how ?

Filled with dread, 
Filled with sorrow.
Please make it stop, 
Please now - not tomorrow.

Peace is what we want, 
Why can't they see ? 
Don't they want it too ? 
Why can't it be ?

"Peace in our time,"
Was once what was said. 
They thought it divine 
Let's not be misled.

Let's free the white cloves 
For everyone's sale.

Sarah Boyles, aged 14.
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Set Me Free

I am alone with my thoughts, 
Longing for someone in whom I can confide. 
Daily, as I look out the closed window, 
I wish for freedom. 
To once again live along with nature, 
- There, on the outside.

Especially at springtime when it's so beautiful, 
Flowers of pretty colours growing everywhere. 
To feel a gentle breeze against my face, 
And the warm sunshine, 
As soothing scents fill the air.

I want so dearly to breathe that air, 
To look up into the heavens clear and blue. 
To listen to the song of the birds in the trees, 
Then watch them fly away, 
Drifting like a feather on the breeze.

I hope from deep down within my soul, 
That these things I will know again, 
And they may not fade to just memories, 
Confined in my head.

I pray that someday, 
I will be a prisoner no more. 
No longer condemned by a yellow star. 
In my mind I know that my spirit shall rise, 
And break these chains that weigh so heavily on my heart.

I trust in God that I shall one day taste freedom, 
So bitter sweet. But I often wonder, 
When it's over, 
How many of my friends will still be there 
For me to greet ?

Michelle Brown, aged 16.
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I walk through the dark damp streets not sure where to go. 
The people running up and down - look at you as if they know. Bottles and glasses shatter and litter the street. 
Bitter angry stares from the people I meet. 
There's a riot tonight - a fight between two sides. 
I don't want to be involved but I've nowhere to hide. 
They say religion and Ireland is what its all about. 
But I think it's just an excuse for them to scream and shout. 
It goes on through the night in the cold and tortured air, 
Nobody stops and thinks - nobody seems to care. 
In the morning sadness has fallen over the street. 
Like a mist from the gray sky.

Michelle Bell, aged 14.

People do not like war, they Enjoy life being quiet and peaceful And being able to Create life and see it grow in front of their Eyes.

Claire Winnington, aged 13.

"Let the Love in peace fly freely 
Let the flower of peace bloom fruitfully."

Tracey Gill, aged 13.
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Unknown Infant

Hard did the East Wind blow 
Through the dismal deserted street. 
Deep with frozen packed snow, 
Cutting through the child - blue its feet.

A bundle of rags on a young boy 
Crouched in a door alone. 
Abandoned by Mother and Father, unwanted joy -
Chilled through, thro' to the smallest bone.

Church bells rang clearly overhead. 
Snowflakes slowly downward did drift. 
Children stirred - sought the stocking on the bed. 
Pulled out Christmas gift after gift.

Except one young child - none for one boy. 
Only Nature's cold elements came. 
None thought of some small toy 
Some gift for him - none felt shame.

Stay! he is not forgotten now. 
His cold body shows less colour. 
He kneels - his head doth bow. 
His face pained, a terrible palor.

Little hands - firmly clasped  
Blue lifeless lips - a prayer uttered, 
'Oh Lord Jesus,' a little voice gasped, 
Why have you forgotten me'.'" he stuttered.

None heard the answer that came 
Down from the Heavens - along with the snow; 
None heard the voice call his name. 
The voice that reached down below.

When others, their hands did heat 
Afore large blazing logs. 
A small body was found on the street 
Frozen - rigid - discovered by dogs.

A small boy died - it is no dream. 
Do not turn your head to hide the shame; 
His face was happy and serene. 
Yours - does it contort and blush with pain.

Look inwardly - seek the truth, 
Are you above the humane element 
Think then - remember that youth 
Race not along the road - hell bent.

Geraldine Tigchclaar, Principal Teacher.
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The town is dying, 
Despair, Dishonesty, 
Death and dilemma, 
Dancing bullets and smoke filled ruins.

People running, 
Helping the wounded, 
Leaving the dead. 
No smiles now. 
Only tears.

Only hope remains.

Christine Ewart, aged 13.

A ray of hope beams onto me, 
Peace on earth for eternity ? 
All fighting ceased,

Tears wiped away.

Bouquets of flowers stacked high on the streets, 
Each flower is for sympathy, as loved ones weep.

Kelly Hagen, aged 13.
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