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In California During The Gulf War

Rating: 3.0
Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among
trees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts,
the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought,

certain airy white blossoms punctually
reappeared, and dense clusters of pale pink, dark pink--
a delicate abundance. They seemed

like guests arriving joyfully on the accustomed
festival day, unaware of the year's events, not perceiving
the sackcloth others were wearing.

To some of us, the dejected landscape consorted well
with our shame and bitterness. Skies ever-blue,
daily sunshine, disgusted us like smile-buttons.

Yet the blossoms, clinging to thin branches
more lightly than birds alert for flight,
lifted the sunken heart

even against its will.
But not
as symbols of hope: they were flimsy
as our resistance to the crimes committed

--again, again--in our name; and yes, they return,
year after year, and yes, they briefly shone with serene joy
over against the dark glare

of evil days. They are, and their presence
is quietness ineffable--and the bombings are, were,
no doubt will be; that quiet, that huge cacophany

simultaneous. No promise was being accorded, the blossoms
were not doves, there was no rainbow. And when it was claimed
the war had ended, it had not ended.
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COMMENTS
Britte Ninad 04 March 2020
beautiful poem penned
0 0 Reply
Om Prakash 11 October 2016
Nice poem
4 4 Reply
Dutendra Chamling 22 December 2015
Denise Levertov! Beautiful poem!
3 6 Reply
Douglas Scotney 22 December 2015
thankfully one can exist alongside the other
4 4 Reply
lkjhgfdssdfghjk 22 January 2018
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0 0 Reply
Susan Williams 22 December 2015
I was captivated by the metaphors and the deep wells of emotions that she drew from and gave us to drink from... They seemed like guests arriving joyfully on the accustomed festival day, unaware of the year's events, not perceiving the sackcloth others were wearing.
21 3 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 22 December 2015
Of evil days! ! With the works of mankind on earth. Nice work.
1 3 Reply
M Asim Nehal 22 December 2015
Very well thought poem, I liked it.
0 3 Reply
Jasbir Chatterjee 22 December 2015
very nice poem. All those little wars that are played out day in and day out across borders have no meaning whatsoever. They only lead to destruction and more destruction The feeling of dejection that ordinary people feel about these acts is very accurately described in this poem. Thanks for sharing.
2 4 Reply

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