Paper Cranes by Thomas Merton

How can we tell a paper bird

Is stronger than a hawk
When it has no metal for talons?
It needs no power to kill
Because it is not hungry.

Wilder and wiser than eagles
It ranges around the world
Without enemies
And free of cravings.

The child’s hand
Folding these wings
Wins no wars and ends them all.

Thoughts of a child’s heart
Without care, without weapons!
So the child’s eye
Gives life to what it loves
Kind as the innocent sun
And lovelier than all dragons!”

Thomas Merton. The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton. New York: New Directions Press, 1977: 740.

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