To Cry and to Cry Out

By Marc Pilisuk

I began life with a cry,
A cry said that something inside
was not in harmony
with this world of buzzing confusion.

Beyond my inner discomfort
The sound was also a cry out
to a world beyond myself,
to care for me, to comfort me,
with a soft teddy bear
and to welcome me into a web of loving care –
To a world of beauty, with laughter and amazement

Many moons have past
I recall the times I felt ready to cry
Over pains, sickness, and losses.
With illness and age echoes of cries yelling discomfort peek through.
Again the kindness of people offers comfort.

I have lived in a world harboring
hatred, injustice, and violence.
I have cried out against this.

Now the challenges of this world in which I am a part
sometimes feel hopeless.
Extinction of the bear that had inspired my Teddy,
Recurring pandemics, endless war, the bitter hunger of children
and the destruction of a viable habitat.

No matter the odds what remains for me is to cry out
as part of a wave to save the gift of life.



Marc Pilisuk is a Peace and Conflict Studies scholar and Professor Emeritus of the University of California system, having taught at UC-Davis and UC-Berkeley. He currently teaches and supervises graduate students at Saybrook University. Pilisuk is the author of Hidden Structure of Violence: Who Benefits from Global Violence and War, a coauthor of The Triple Revolution, the author of Poor Americans: How the White Poor Live, a coauthor of The Healing Web: Social Networks and Human Survival, a coauthor of International Conflict and Social Policy, a co-editor of the three-volume anthology Peace Movements Worldwide and the author or coauthor of over one hundred academic journal articles. He is the founder of Psychologists for Social Responsibility, past president of The Society for Study of Peace, Conflict and Violence, and the recipient of PJSA’s Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award (2012).