Poem by Bob Allen, Ph.D.


Bob was convinced in the later years of his life that the most important wellness issue was World Peace.


He often used his poem to emphasize the importance of peace.


If We Are Not Careful                   


“The only known fertilized condor egg in North America was destroyed today when it was pushed from a ledge by two condors fighting with one another near the nest. The scene was observed from a distance of over one mile by an ornithologist with spy glasses.”

-          A news report, March 6, 1982


Who knows what caused the


A pulled feather, a scrap

            of food

Some pecking order or territoriality


Or perhaps it was no argument

            at all

Only a mock fight or dance that

            looked like argument

To the ornithologist observing from

            a distance

Separated by both space and species

            from knowing

Exactly what was happening

            and why

As all of us are separated

            from the universe

And from each other and

            often from ourselves

All that we know for sure is

            that it happened

The ill fated egg crashed

            to the rocks below

Pushed from the nest and cliff ledge

            albeit accidentally

By fluttering wing tips

            or unknowing feet

Thrown into space more yielding

            than the sky

Hurtling downward in an arc

            of fate

Until nothing was left but

            splattered shell and yoke

And silence where the hope of life

            had been

The mated condors barely paused

            to look

Accepting fate as we accept

            our wars

Knowing that some will die

            but not yet us.

Expecting that life will

            continue on

And that new lives

            will reappear

Trusting that a single


Will not destroy

            us all

Unless the life is ours

            or someone else’s

Who means so much

            to us

That it will seem

            like ours

Wars are impersonal like

            the destruction of an egg

They make us think

            that death

Doesn’t matter

            if it’s not our own

If we are not careful

            we too

May push the eggs

            from our nests

Until the very last egg

            is destroyed

And there is only silence           

and a deep longing

And a loneliness

            that will last forever.