Karl Shapiro Poems
|3.||I Am An Atheist Who Says His Prayers||1/8/2016|
|5.||Love For A Hand||4/16/2010|
|6.||The Dome Of Sunday||4/16/2010|
|8.||The Piano Tuner’s Wife||4/16/2010|
|10.||Sunday: New Guinea||4/16/2010|
|13.||The Conscientious Objector||4/16/2010|
|15.||Going To School||4/16/2010|
|16.||A Garden In Chicago||1/13/2003|
|17.||The Olive Tree||1/13/2003|
The beauty of manhole covers--what of that?
Like medals struck by a great savage khan,
Like Mayan calendar stones, unliftable, indecipherable,
Not like the old electrum, chased and scored,
Mottoed and sculptured to a turn,
But notched and whelked and pocked and smashed
With the great company names
(Gentle Bethlehem, smiling United States).
This rustproof artifact of my street,
Long after roads are melted away will lie
Sidewise in the grave of the iron-old world,
Bitten at the edges,
Strong with its cryptic American,
Its dated beauty.
Mail-day, and over the world in a thousand drag-nets
The bundles of letters are dumped on the docks and beaches,
And all that is dear to the personal conscious reaches
Around us again like filings around iron magnets,
And war stands aside for an hour and looks at our faces
Of total absorption that seem to have lost their places.
O demobilized for a moment, a world is made human,