A poem by Kathleen O’Meara (1839–1888).
And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and listened deeper
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.
Kathleen O’Meara, pen name Grace Ramsay, was an Irish-French Catholic writer and biographer during the late Victorian era. She was the Paris correspondent of The Tablet, a leading British Catholic magazine. O’ Meara also wrote works of fiction where she explored a variety of topics from women’s suffrage to eastern European revolutions. wikipedia.org
This poem appeared in her second novel Iza’s Story about the struggle of Polish patriots against Russian, Austrian and German occupation. The book compares the Polish-Russian situation to the Irish-British situation and praises the revolt of a small nation against a great neighbour.