Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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Poem +
SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014


by Frances Payne Adler

This is the day when love  
becomes the currency, minted 
in coins and bills and bonds. 
Imagine it: love, the currency, 
forged in the mold of lifelong friends. 
This is the day when peace 
comes, when arms dealers 
stop building guns and tanks, 
melt steel instead into soup pots 
and bicycles, leave them 
on street corners for everyone. 
This is the day when physicists 
who designed “smart” bombs, build 
hands instead for the paralyzed. 
When military bases around the world
close down, and schools that teach peace 
replace them. This is the day 
when leaders put away their
speeches, transform their push 
for power, go home to play on
the floor with their children. 
This is the day when bread and fruit 
fill plates in every home. When 
all people, at last, are equal, 
with banks of love to back them.


—From Making of a Matriot, Red Hen Press (2003), 77; reprinted here by author’s permission



Whose Army, Whose Children, by Kira Carrillo Corser Notice: Photograph is protected by international copyright law.
“Whose Army, Whose Children” by Kira Carrillo Corser
(Reproduced here by permission)



SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

Frances Payne Adler

Photo of Frances Payne Adler by Tey Roberts
Photograph by
Tey Roberts

is the author of five books: two poetry collections, Making of a Matriot (Red Hen Press) and Raising The Tents (Calyx Books); and three collaborative books and exhibitions with photographer Kira Carrillo Corser that have shown in galleries and state capitol buildings across the country, and in the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.

Adler also co-edited, with Debra Busman and Diana Garcia, Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing (University of Arizona Press), which won the 2009 ForeWord Book of the Year Award for Anthologies.

The poems, “Camera” and “Battle,” are from Adler’s current work-in-progress, “Dare I Call You Cousin,” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in collaboration with Israeli artists, photographer Michal Fattal and videographer Yossi Yacov. “Evolution” is from Making of a Matriot.

Adler, professor emerita and founder of the Creative Writing and Social Action Program at California State University Monterey Bay, lives in Portland, Oregon.



SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

Kira Carillo Corser

Award-winning photographic artist, writer, and video producer, Kira Carillo Corser has collaborated with poet Fran Adler in four major traveling exhibitions and three books:

  • When the Bough Breaks: Pregnancy and the Legacy of Addiction
  • A Matriot’s Dream: Health Care for All
  • Struggle to be Borne

Her projects have exhibited nationally in art galleries, museums, and universities; and her work has been part of Public Broadcasting programs, and has appeared on CNN and NBC.

Additional biographical details

For more about the Corser/Adler collaborations, please see: Exhibits.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury