Originally aired: Sunday 10 June through Sunday 12 August 2007

This topic contains 464 replies, has 53,609 voices, and was last updated by  Sven2 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    The Season of Phantasmal Peace

    Then all the nations of birds lifted together
    the huge net of the shadows of this earth
    in multitudinous dialects, twittering tongues,
    stitching and crossing it. They lifted up
    the shadows of long pines down trackless slopes,
    the shadows of glass-faced towers down evening streets,
    the shadow of a frail plant on a city sill—
    the net rising soundless as night, the birds’ cries soundless, until
    there was no longer dusk, or season, decline, or weather,
    only this passage of phantasmal light
    that not the narrowest shadow dared to sever.

    And men could not see, looking up, what the wild geese drew,
    what the ospreys trailed behind them in silvery ropes
    that flashed in the icy sunlight; they could not hear
    battalions of starlings waging peaceful cries,
    bearing the net higher, covering this world
    like the vines of an orchard, or a mother drawing
    the trembling gauze over the trembling eyes
    of a child fluttering to sleep;
                                                        it was the light
    that you will see at evening on the side of a hill
    in yellow October, and no one hearing knew
    what change had brought into the raven’s cawing,
    the killdeer’s screech, the ember-circling chough
    such an immense, soundless, and high concern
    for the fields and cities where the birds belong,
    except it was their seasonal passing, Love,
    made seasonless, or, from the high privilege of their birth,
    something brighter than pity for the wingless ones
    below them who shared dark holes in windows and in houses,
    and higher they lifted the net with soundless voices
    above all change, betrayals of falling suns,
    and this season lasted one moment, like the pause
    between dusk and darkness, between fury and peace,
    but, for such as our earth is now, it lasted long.

    –Derek Walcott



    Peace, So That

    every stinking son of a bitch
    can come home
    to his lawn mower and rice paddy,
    every punished son of a bitch
    can return to his father’s bedside,
    every child of every bastard
    every child of a hero of peace
    of war
    can talk it over with the man he blames,
    every woman, mother, wife, daughter
    will rise in our arms like the tide,
    every bomb be water,
    every bullet be smashed into frying pans,
    every knife sharpened again
    to cut fruit in thin slices,
    every word flung out like a bullet
    in anger
    come back to putrefy the tongue,
    every man who has sat silent
    beware of his silence,
    every rising of the blood
    make love to a woman, a man,
    every killer have only mirrors
    to shoot at,
    every child a thumb to suck,
    every house its chance
    to sink to the earth’s calling,
    every dead shall have no good reasons.

    And we be a long time at this.

    –Greg Kuzma




    In truth I am puzzled most in life
    by nine horses.

    I’ve been watching them for eleven weeks
    in a pasture near Melrose.

    Two are on one side of the fence and seven
    on the other side.

    They stare at one another from the same places
    hours and hours each day.

    This is another unanswerable question
    to haunt us with the ordinary.

    They have to be talking to one another
    in a language without a voice.

    Maybe they are speaking the wordless talk of lovers,
    sullen, melancholy, jubilant.

    Linguists say that language comes after music
    and we sang nonsense syllables

    before we invented a rational speech
    to order our days.

    We live far out in the country where I hear
    creature voices night and day.

    Like us they are talking about their lives
    on this brief visit to earth.

    In truth each day is a universe in which
    we are tangled in the light of stars.

    Stop a moment. Think about these horses
    in their sweet-smelling silence.

    –Jim Harrison




    Into the land of youth, westward, to the place of starting again, cities of gold, on the coast of promise–mysterious cure–a mirror’s thrown down, and so without luck, without reflection we stop.

    We have come to the beginning, the finish of the country, itinerary worn out, facing the surf–what sailors smell as land. We ask detailed questions. None of us can tell, so we tug on each other, “Come. Look.”

    In this lull, one at the tide line stoops to pick at foam and weeds; another builds a fire. The intended didn’t arrive and there is no new plan. As the sun lowers, we face the mountains, consider what we have passed, and fall to dreaming, to scrounging.

    –Killarney Clary



    The New Colossus

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)

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