A Place Called Beautiful Peace

This beautiful poem was written by John Bird about a very beautiful place in Cyprus called Bellapais … the words will transport you there in a an instant!

A Place Called Beautiful Peace

(Bellapais, Cyprus, 1974)

In the mirage of a summer’s afternoon,

high above the land crusaders knew,

I found a place called Beautiful Peace

slumbering among the orange groves.

sheltered by the thatch of tavern vines,

I sat and watched the creep of shadow

across the square where poets dreamed.

Sprawled beneath the tree of Idleness,

a mule lay weary from its early shift.

Dark-clad women drifted silently by,

and in the narrow streets above

I heard the laughter of children.

Nodding old men played backgammon,

creaking in their faithful chairs;

shrewd eyes watched each roll of dice

but were blind to the moving figures

in the quiet meadows to the north.

A bearded man of God knelt, tending

the flowers in the abbey garden

as peasant soldiers came silently

with shouldered guns and simple hearts

to proclaim their new republic

in the place called Beautiful Peace.


Written: by John Bird

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I have been a journalist, PR man and university lecturer, living and working in the United States, Canada and Cyprus before retuning to my roots in the UK.In addition to a poetry collection, Something Understood, my published and broadcast work includes two novels, short fiction, plays TV comedy material and non-fiction books on subjects as diverse as new careers for the over-40s and Britain's treatment of enemy alien civilians in wartime. My academic background includes a PhD in History from the London School of Economics. My website:

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