Has America Become a Lion for Peace?




What a weekend we just witnessed! Not only did America ratify that Iran was in fact dismantling its nuclear bomb-making equipment and shipping nuclear materials off to Russia, but we engaged in a prisoner swap. Add to that the quick release of the American sailors who strayed into Iranian waters last week, and the world seems a tad bit safer. Diplomacy is a beautiful thing when it works.

True, America is still a militant nation. We are still dropping a lot of bombs. However, under Barack Obama, we are also increasingly being seen as a force for peace. We have made much progress since declaring preemptive and unnecessary war on Saddam Hussein.

Which reminds me of the repentant lion in one of my father’s fables. Once a devourer of missionaries, he sees the error of his ways and becomes a force for good. The United States may not be approaching sainthood but its turnaround is still welcome.

Enjoy the good news. It doesn’t happen often. Here’s the poem:

Saint Leo the Evangelical Lion

By Scott Bates

A Lion having
Devoured a very

Suffered through
Painful transmutation

From that day on
He shunned perdition
His bestial condition

All his erstwhile victims
With hearty feline
Pax vobiscums

Set on its way
The hundredth Sheep
That went astray

The hunted hounded
Hartebeest hid
With Hermits of
The Theobaid

Set up a home
Among the books
Of Saint Jerome

Ate straw with the Ox
Lay down with the Lamb
Roared homilies
At the Sons of Ham

And died beloved
By all they say
On March 31st
His holy day

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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