A man runs from the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, January 25, 2007.
A Crosstown Breeze
by Henry Taylor
A drift of wind
when August wheeled
brought back to mind
an alfalfa field
where green windrows
bleached down to hay
while storm clouds rose
and rolled our way.
With lighthearted strain
in our pastoral agon
we raced the rain
with baler and wagon,
driving each other
to hold the turn
out of the weather
and into the barn.
A nostalgic pause
claims we saved it all,
but I’ve known the loss
of the lifelong haul;
now gray concrete
and electric light
wear on my feet
and dull my sight.
So I keep asking,
as I stand here,
my cheek still basking
in that trick of air,
would I live that life
if I had the chance,
or is it enough
to have been there once?
"I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."
from Dirge Without Music
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Pelosi in Iraq to see for herself how war is going.
by Paul Farley
A god who checks you've turned the oven off
in some unnumbered radio galaxy
never sleeps or swerves from His one duty.
You never know: in the middle of the night
you could be up putting a pizza in,
and what does He care? It's the Middle Ages
where He lives. Watching over your stove
beats anything closer to hand: in two places
at once, He'd rather listen to the ticks
of the oven preheating than sit through jousts or another spit roast. He enjoys the rings
glowing concentrically in your dark kitchen;
planetary, He thinks. Music of the spheres.
Hell, in his pianoless world, what He'd give
to stand before it like an instrument
and set its greasy dials for the hearts of suns,
careful not to raise the number of the beast
on its console - that would be a mistake -
but play all night bathed in its infra-reds;
electric music (the god of hearth
is banging from His sealed-up chimney breast),
ammonia, wire wool, black residue
on the brain pan, the upright honky-tonk
of metals cooling down when morning comes.
Peace, and witness
Witness for peace and love
When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?--Eleanor Roosevelt
For peace and consolation
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