Poems on love and hope

On Women, War, Responsibility and Solidarity

Women, Who Are You?

Women, women, women
the architect of the future
as you mold by your loving hands
the fragile children of our time.

Women, women, women
the cursed and battered
part  of God`s creation
and yet have struggled
to weave out your own liberation.

Women, women, women
you, the architect of now
and the future.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
written for the International Women`s Day 1991



Are you the Eve
that tempts Adam
or the snake that
hisses around
to spit its venom
on its prey, the man?

Or are you the woman
in the Garden of Eden
born out of the womb
of your mother,
clothed in the wings
of your freedom and passion?

Are you the woman
proud of your culture and origin
who cannot be damned to hell
by the white man`s heaven
of long-waged patriarchy?

(the illustration in collage is not yet put into the screen)

Women on War

Women Who Bear the Pain Over Life
        That Is Wasted In War

Life is conceived in a womb
protected in a seeming crystal bowl
Blood, love and hope are mingled together
to let this life behold the dawn.

But a sudden flash of light
dropped out of arrogance and might
transforms this valuable being
into ashes of smoke, if not, into
the crippled, the wounded invalids
throughout their lives!

How the women groan!
How the mothers die a thousand deaths
when life that is nurtured
from womb to the dawn of light
is shattered in a wasteland!

(On Gulf War, 1991)

Copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

A Song for Iraq

A Song for Iraq

Listen, people are crying
Listen, bombs are raining
Listen, missiles are pounding
Fires are spreading
Houses are burning
People are running.

Listen, mothers are screaming
Listen, children are dying
Listen, soldiers are bleeding
Death is growing
Hate is rising
Where are we heading?

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho,
Ho, ho, ho,ho, ho.

(written at the 9th day of bombing April 2002)
(painting on this poem has to be put into into screen later, needs to be photographed first)



Why do we have to slaughter
our love in the gallows
of rudeness and indifference?

Why do we have
to chop off our love
with the sharp knives
of hate, anger and fear?

Why do we have to come
to these gallows
and slaughter our love?

Why do we have to proclaim
the death of our love?

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
illustration: olieskridt på papir

Muteness in Marriage

Violent Silence

We seal our mouths
with herbs of bitterness
and drown the words
which communicate
we let our cold silence
creep in our midst
and let the days
 nurture the hurts
 that have been long laid
in the cupboards
of our own memories.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen


Listen to the Whisper of your Soul

Listen to its call every morning
as the dew blends with the leaves
and wets the ground.

Listen to its call every noontime
as the bright rays of the sun
reflect the dusts that enter into your lungs.

Listen to its call
every night time
as darkness devours the day
for silence and rest.

Listen to its call every dawntime
as the wings of the cock
flap to announce the dawn of the new day.

Listen to the small voice within you.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

The Holy Week

The  Silent Week

Out of the noise of the outside world
the tiring demands of paid work
the monotone routines day in and day out
Here we come again to this silent week
when Jesus was hanged and crucified.

Here we retrace the story of his life and death
Here we follow the steps out of his grave
Why does he come to share
with us our life and death?
Why does he come to bring hope
to our own deaths and hope beyond our graves?

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
April 2001

Easter Morning

Easter Morning

Come out of the grave
You cannot lie in the grave forever
in the grave of despair, hatred,
fear, anger, cold and greed.

You cannot forever shut your
eyes from the beauty of nature,
the warmth of sunshine
and the existence of
your other fellow humans.

Dance in the morning
Easter has come
Jesus has vanquished death
Problems we can overcome.

Celebrate the joy of Easter morning
Experience Jesus walking with you
in the narrow byways in life
alive, talking, walking with you
side by side in flesh and blood.

copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
                Easter in Denmark l997

On Giving Birth

The Miracle of Pain

The start of labour, a gasp of pain
like a terror from nowhere
then an interruption of relief
the same cycle that goes on
for hours or even for days.

Pain at every contraction
of the mother`s womb
airs out a groan, a biting of lips
or a screaming for God`s rescue
or mama`s help.

Then at the last push
when the water bag is finally broken,
and when the new life descends
from the birth canal, when the baby
is finally pulled out into the new world
of life from the great womb of peace,
giving out the innocent cries of fear,
the woman, she, a mother, rejoices
over the blessing of pain.

Pain with its beginning
has its reason, end and fruit
Pain is both a gift
and a miracle to the human will.

copyright Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
1993, on giving birth to Philip, the fourth child in the family
Pagten/The Covenant (30x40 cm)


A Mother

How can a mother forget her child,
the child who is conceived nine months in the womb
the child that is cradled at daytime, night time and the till dawn?
How can a mother forget her child?

How can a mother forget her child
the child who after the flow of months has learned to stand and run?
How can a mother forget her child
the child whose mouth imitates her mother`s tongue
the child who after a year or two can say, "Mama, I love you"?

How can a mother forget her child
the child who is so dear in her own dear heart and mind
the child that reveals the mystery of creation
the beauty of growth and human interaction.
the infinity of our own universe
within its finite linear time?

(copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
written for Anna on her confirmation March 2002)

On War and Refugees


When exchanges of bullets
fly over rooftops and human heads
when the mouth of death
roars like a lion day and night
yes, day and night.

Then children, youth and adults
must all leave their hiding place
and ride on the waves
that can bring them to the shores
of safety and peace.

Kosovo, you are plundered
and your children cannot understand
why they have to pay
the price for a home
played by the hands of madness.

War and Refugees

Refugee from Iraq

I see him as a young and lonely man
He is a refugee from his own devastated land.
Tired and confused, he comes often
to this silent corner in town
to watch people and cars passing by
and to listen to the silent thoughts in his mind.

He turns around, sits down and focuses his
black eyes into the open blue sky.
And there comes rushing into his mind
the painful memories of his past-
the horrible experience of war
that separates him from his own loved ones.

Yes, see this man, this refugee in Denmark
He dreams of peace
He dreams of friends
He dreams of a job
and a final return to his beloved land
that is bleeding because of war.


Tsunami and  the Angel of Death

You spread your wings and cover the earth
with the claws of your fingers
You touch the bottom of the Indian Ocean
and unleash your fury to many lands.

The waters, the source of life,
become the bosom of death
The fishes miss their homes
Children, men and women,
tourists and local inhabitants
lose their names
and like garbage they are dumped
into mud and mass graves.

Your strange visit at Christmas time
sends a revolting shock that gives birth
to unbearable anguish and pain
änd those who remain cannot hide
from the shadows of your wings.

And yet the waves of destruction you create
resonate waves of compassion
that enable each one to shed a tear
and offer a helping hand.

copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
written January 6, 2005, fews days after Tsunami



Once there lived a man, woman and child
They tilled the land, cooked their food
built their school and built their house.
The birds and rivers sang as they danced
and went to bed when the sun went down.

Once there lived a man with his gun
He thought the land, the food, the school
and the house of other man, woman and child
could be his with his gun
He could not sleep and so he started
shooting at the birds, the rivers and the stars
He dreamed that all the land and all in it
could be his with his gun.

Then the man, the woman and the child
in their own land, their house and their farm
could not sleep on their bed, and could not
listen anymore to the singing of the birds
and rivers, for they had to leave, to leave
in much hurry, that there was nothing
at all they could carry.

They walked and walked through the miles
without sandals on their feet,
searched for food and rested on the shades of the trees
Their hearts began to dance in great delight
as they, from a distance, could see
some signs of life, of crowded communities,
whom they thought could have bid them in
for food, water and bed.
But all the while, they were called strangers
and must stay out of the borders.

Until now the man, the woman, and the child
keep on wandering from one land to another
waiting to be invited to come in
in a border when they can build
their house, a school for their child
where they can cook their food,
dig a well and farm a piece of land.

Copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
(published in the Journal for Asian Women, In God`s Image, Christian Conference of Asia, Malaysia and in the newspaper of Red Cross, Denmark)



You are a stranger
to those who claim themselves
the civilized nations.
You are a riddle
in the corners and caves
of your proud hills and mountains.

You hide the wisdom
and beauty of your women
You children`s bones cannot grow centimeter long
The cries of your infants linger
even as they suck the breasts of their mothers.

Your home is plundered
by many years of siege and conflict
Your fields are made the playground
of those who want to sow seeds
of revenge and hatred.

And right after September
in the month of October
you are once more pillaged
by the bombs of the Allied Forces.

And those who run away
and those who stay behind
and those who watch from afar
cannot stop wailing over you-
The fallen and bleeding Afghanistan.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
October 2001

(the poem has a collage, that has to be put later.)

To the child who was lost and found dead

To Susan in Brøndby Strand

A child of ten summers
an adolescent with
freedom to move around
you have Brøndby Strand
as your home-
the lucky recipient
of your beauty,
innocense and smiles.

And one Friday night
you disappeared
like a bubble in thin air.
For seven days
we have sought for you
have waited and followed
the news of your safe return.
For seven days you`ve become
the object of our worries,
fears, theories and silent prayers.

Our hearts scream in protest
when conceiving a glimpse
of a frightening ordeal
you must have gone through
as a young child
with our helplessness
to deliver you
saved only by the hope
that goodness should
triumph over evil.

But on Friday, the seventh night
after you disappeared,
you are found dead
in a locked basement n Tranumparken,
wrapped in paper boxes
lifeless-- your body, rotting, desecrated,
reduced into a mere garbage.

Susan, we cry for you
we cry with your family
and loved ones.

Brøndby Strand, your home,
has ceased to be your home
and has ceased to be our home
as long as the offender runs free.
And as long as the offender runs free,
Brøndby Strand will ever be blanketed
by darkness, horror and uncertainty.

Forgive us for our inability to help you
Forgive us for our slowness to action
Forgive us for having ceased
to live as a community but
as detached individuals
imprisoned by concrete walls.

Thank you for your life
that forever reminds us
of the fragility and beauty of child`s life.
And let our aborted love for you
shine in our hearts and minds
to wage a battle
against abuses
done to little children like you.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
(written with tears after having known that the dead corpse of Susan was found. Susan was our neighbor in Brøndby Strand)

To Susan in Brøndby Strand (poem illustrated with collage)

A Tribute

A Tribute to the Three Filipino Workers
           Beheaded in Saudi Arabia

(Floyd Salabao, Rogelio de Leon and Franklin Alina beheaded Friday, January 20, 1996, hung for public display from noon til 4.30 pm)

Now it comes again
Your precious blood flows out of you
that fateful Friday noon.
Once again the blood cries out
and torments our own soul.

The story of your crime
is heard only from your accusers
after your arrest in October.
Your own story is a complete prison-
an oblivion in the dark cell, sealed
and locked by your inability
to speak the Arabic language
of the authorities.

Now it comes again
Your precious blood freely flowing
tormenting every conscience
to know the truth, to unlock
the seal of your oblivion.

What could have happened
Your family and kin inquired
The human rights group based
in London also raised
the same question.

But no, there is no time, no time
for you to tell your own story.
No, the time of your life
is locked up in your cell of oblivion.

But your blood that drips
from where you are hanged today
flows to the ground
consumed by the sand
which yet leaves cries
that echo to our land
and torment our soul and conscience.

copyright, Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

(the poem has collage, which will be put in here...)


A Whisper To Despair

Don`t stifle your creativity
by anyone`s indifferent coldness
Let nothing extinquish your spirit
that which values you as a person
which surrounds you with love
that which comes from God.

Channel your creative energy
into something productive.
You are not called to die
but called to live--
to affirm and uphold life.

Be strong in the Lord.

Remembering Princess Diana after her accident

In Every Woman, A Diana

In every woman is a river of love
that flows to all lands
that feels, that comforts and understands.

In every woman is a sea of pain
when rejected, when unwanted
by those whom she commits to live with.

In every woman is a dark cloud
of uncertainty of one`s own identity
projected in both the negative
and the positive ways.

(there is a collage to this text, which will be put in soon)

still on women`s issues

Eye for an Eye for Ameneh in Iran


Drops, drops of acid

Smeared through the eyes of a woman

Making all her days as nights

And all  her nights the echoes

Of her dreams and screams.


Drops, drops of acid

Splashed into the eyes of a woman

Coming from the hand of a man

Wanting dominion over the woman.

Ejecting  the poison of arrogance.


Drops, drops of acid

Searing the eyes and face of a woman

Coming from the hands of man

A mighty weapon of total cowardice

Used as revenge for offered love unrequited.


The eyes of Ameneh are gone

Her days remain as nights

And her nights the echoes

Of her dreams and screams

But  her heart is never blind

To live and to seek for justice.

But is eye for an eye
a form for justice on earth?


19. February 2009

Women in Beijing in one September

Women by the thousands
come marching by
to mark history among nations.

Never again  should women
be sold, battered and raped.

Never again should girl
fetuses in the mother`s womb
be doomed to death.

Never again should the women`s
spirit be extinquished.

Can a gathering of women
among nations make up a change?

The marching of women
prompts attention -
a human bomb to announce
that women`s issues are
crucial to our world`s survival.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

World Conference on Women, China,1995

Bride Burning... Women Burning



Forests are denuded
trees grown for years
are cut off by hours
then we get flooded.

Lost, the green of life
the Paradise of Eden
the haven of birds
the tryst of love
and the searching soul.

Murdered, our new creation
of a thousand years of hope,
a new sanctuary - a home.
Like this forest, soon
we*ve willed it eroded.

I wonder why both of us
agreed to cut trees
and let flood
exist in our midst.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
copyright, 2002

Woes in Nigeria

Woes in Nigeria

One, two, three
then to hundreds and thousands
massacred in their homes
in their farms and on the roads.
Houses are burned, the victims mourn
and the offenders giggle.

Houses are emptied
farms stand erect;
stores and airports, closed
while survivors run from fear
and pregnant with hate.

The offenders are young boys
trained to play the toys
to shoot and kill their enemies-
their own people.

There is no end of hate
while the offenders celebrate
over the dead, trample the ground
smashed with blood and raise their
fists with their high powered guns.

The rule of love and law
is trampled and smashed
when guns are played
as toys by young hands.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

The Year 2000

The Year 2000

The year 2000
The year of prophecies from the scriptures
the year of jubilation over man-made inventions
the year of expectation for man`s unknown future.

Where are we heading, we ask.

Others talk of the last doom, the judgment
as they prepare their own voyage
though self-destruction.

While others welcome the year 2000
As another common year
within the linear time,
the year of constant waiting
for God`s revelation in His own time.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

The Eye

The Eye

The eye is the window
where wind passes through
to delight the heart and the mind.

The eye is a traffic light
that welcomes passersby
and regulates their flow
either by a gaze so rude
or a wink that puts up  a gate
for friends to pass through.

EPO, 1996

To the Fallen Victims at Omagh (Ireland)

To the Fallen Victims at Omagh

One more bomb
planted in the heart of town
ate you up in flames
as children, women and men.

One more bomb
dislodged from fists
plastered by hate
shuts up the door of freedöm
long time been waged.

One more bomb
planted in the heart of town
builds up the artillery
for more death and vengeance.

But the fallen victims of Omagh
cannot rest in peace
if their deaths should
remain meaningless
for the march for peace.

E, P. Olesen

To My Beloved Husband on the Holy Week

Loving you as if today is my last day

I want to love you
as if today is my last day to love you.

I  want to say the nice things
about you as if today is my last day
to say them out loud to you.

I want to care for our kids
as if today is my last day
to watch them grow.

Give me the chance to love you today
Give me the chance to open up
the goodness of my heart before you.

Give me the chance during this,
my last day, to feel the beauty
of being a mother to our kids
and a wife to you.

Let me love you today
as if today is my last day.

E. P. Olesen, April 2001


At the beach in Vorupør

The evening dusk begins to fall
as they who play and walk
along the beach
head their way home.

I, on the silent corner
of this white beach,
feel the stillness,
the beauty in silence,
the awesomeness of creation
as the night begins to fall.

As the wings of the clouds
move to where the winds blow,
the red sun hides her face
in the bosom of the clouds
And yet is still able to show
the red lights that shine
over this beach
that is about to sleep.

How awesome it is to behold
the stillness of your presence, O Lord,
How  marvellous are your  hands
that create the beauty of nature
which we can turn to from busy life.

At this summer time in Vorupør
beneath the sky and on this beach
where I lie, I thank you and celebrate
your creation  and your presence eternal.
E. P. Olesen  July 18, 2000)

A Good Life ( The theme of the last intercultural conference in Århus in November 2008)

A Good Life

A good life is a song
with melodies of joy
sung by laughters and smiles.

A good life is a cup of tears
when days are painted
by all sorrow and pain.

A good life is community
when one ceases to be alone
in the sea of love and compassion.

A good life is courage
when the heart of faith announces
the dawning of the new day.

A good life is knowing
the Shepherd
who walks with us even in the valley of death
and brings us to the mountain of safety.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
written and read during the culminating program of the conference.
November 9, 2008

Mumbai, India

Beauty and Evil Design
in Mumbai, India

November 27, 2008


Behind the beauty of Taj Mahal

lurks there the tentacles of Evil Design

tentacles to strangle tourists and civilians

who have come to enjoy and  behold

the beauty and mystery of Taj Mahal.


Distributed in the hotels of Taj Mahal and Oberoi

and in the Jewish Center in town,  their rest

are aborted by the sudden intrusion

of the Evil Design who brings along with them

grenades and weapons of hate and poison.


Now the victims, the lovers of beauty,

are dead,  fallen and wounded

fallen and wounded by the hundreds

leaving great sorrow to their loved ones.

leaving fear among those who watch from afar.  


And yet the beauty of Taj Mahal will

soar up majestically because  the difference

between  Beauty and Evil Design are now

lodged in the human memory: that Beauty

will forever showcase the window to peace
and that the Evil Design is forever ugly.




Pastoring A Church

Pastoring a Church

Pastoring a church
  is sheepherding a flock
     like a shepherd
       looking for a lost lamb
          among the flock of 100.

Pastoring a church
   is rescuing the flock
      from devouring wolves
         from the cares that exhaust faith
           from despair that brings no hope.

Pastoring a church
    is living in servanthood
     wearing the cloak of Jesus
        of loving, serving,
          laughing, rebuking
            and giving one`s life.

1997, Denmark
Pinse 2008 30x30cm akryl på lærred

Poem written in home island

Thoughts on Hingotanan
 An Island Not on the Map

I waited for you with the ebbing of tide
 the rising of sun and moon
 the setting of the sun and moon.

I sat on rocks, painted colours in my mind
 sang with the waves
 sang with the waves

Till the playful touch of the water
  on my face
  brought me to the Silence
  of your presence eternal.

Elizabeth P. Olesen
written on the Hingotanan beach
The Covenant/ Pagten 30x30 cm akryl på lærred

The Heart of a Woman

The heart of a woman is a well
From it one can draw water
to quench one`s  thirst
From it plants and grasses
are reborn to life
after constant care and nurture. 

The heart of a woman is a well
from it oozes and sprinkles
the warm drops of love
flowing  on the open ground
to save life from thirst and death.

November 21, 2011
the 5th of November, 2009)

Sign of Reconciliation 20x25cm acryl on canvass

Overskrift 1



Apartheid was a seed of discord,
a poison injected into human mind
to segregate peoples of races and colors.

Apartheid bloomed and richly existed
in societal and political institutions
guarded by the power of weapons.

But God’s grace of love for all
cleansed the poison, broke the chains
that apartheid guarded for generations.

Nelson Mandela, Bishop Desmond Tutu,
and many more unsung South African heroes
brought in the seeds of reconciliation.

Even in deep deep cold darkness
God’s light of grace breaks through.

November 15, 2011

The Burning Bush 50x50 cm acryl på lærred

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POEM | Svar 22.09.2010 23:20

Det er nogen gode digte der inspirer mig til at skrive digte :)

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20.09 | 13:16

I think I should also spend time writing poems in Danish. For quite a period of time, I have only concentrated on writing poems in English.

08.03 | 09:55

Kære Elizabeth - du rørte mig med din tekst om at overleve gennem kunsten. Jeg kender det selv som en delvis fremmed med udenlandsk opvækst. Vi ses i Simonpete

07.01 | 14:51

Fantastisk smuk hjemmeside.

14.02 | 23:41

Super flort hjemmeside
jeg er hel vil ned dine hjemmeside :)

jeg har også selv en men det kun med tegninger :)
kig forbi og huske og skriv i GB lige som jeg gør nu :)


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