the tired cry
of an infant
crawls its way
through the rubble.
the grown child of five,
hears it, between her
own sobs and tears,
her fingers cut and bruised,
her cheek smudged wet and skinned.
she hurts holding the baby
across her chest
and bloodies its cloth.
with a mother’s eye, this woman
squints to survey
the new landscape.
a man of eight runs
to her side, takes the infant,
and they scramble across
the war-torn town
of their birth.
Published in Poet Lore, Vol. 74, No. 1, Spring 1979
A Worldly Lament
where are our brothers, our husbands, our sons?
tell us where the deeds were done.
piles and piles and piles of bones
tell us where our fathers have gone.
where do mass graves lie under the moon?
where women have cried,
where children have grown up too soon.
A Winter Tangent
here is a point of dirt
with rocks sprouting out
and trees digging in.
here wet leaves cling
along the ridge to moss
and mud crackled grass, and
the twitter of birds blows
by in the wind. from
here the globe falls
away. bark climbs
into the sky.
Published in The Lyricist, Vol. XIV, Spring 1980
The Insatiable Maw
"Peace begins with the fork" -- a bumper sticker
not only by mouth
but by lifestyle
do we consume treasures of the earth:
animals, large and small,
green things from here and there,
tracts of land denuded and desolate,
bodies of water, spheres of air,
and bowels of earth mined and forgotten;
as if there were no end to the treasure,
and peoples' needs can be met
infinitely by finite things,
and our goal in life is to transform
biosphere into the trash heap and
consciousness into satiety.
like the general who loves peace, content to be unknown,
and the teacher who sees her future in students’ faces,
and the coach who revels unnoticed in team’s success,
joy is sustained in personal stillness and universal care.
that in me that moves into Immortality is that which is universal
at the beginning, not the temporary assignments of flesh and temperament
that line my life day in and out, the particularities of my mask
or the gushing of my thought, the hopes or dreams of personal.