Dear Paul, I’m not saying it’s over,
one never knows about the bigger picture,
but it’s rained and green and we got mud
instead of dust in the house for Christmas,
puddles in the garden. We learned a lot—
this blessing of basics disguised as disaster
made us tough, cold and calloused
as we tried to grin the bear down,
make friends with our dry realities.
(We’ll never run the ranch the same.)
I can write you now with more
than more bad news to add
to your rants to the outside world—
O’ Humanity, look
what we’ve become:
slaughtering children in school,
buckling under to cyber blackmail,
while Wall Street goes up over 400
and Congress smokes Cuban cigars.
We learned to retreat, keep our heads down
and ‘let them play’ as we searched for water,
fed cows to keep our future alive.
Are these not Jeffers’ ‘new values’,
the most basic this world has forgotten?
Hands-on people—we like the smell
of sweat, the sound of words and the feel
of accomplishment, day by day—it’s all
we have to share. Hoping to rekindle
our correspondence, I wish you, Liz
and Zeke some super-duper holidays.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
THE BLOODY SIRE
It is not bad. Let them play.
Let the guns bark and the bombing-plane
Speak his prodigious blasphemies.
It is not bad, it is high time,
Stark violence is still the sire of all the world’s values.
What but the wolf’s tooth whittled so fine
The fleet limbs of the antelope?
What but fear winged the birds, and hunger
Jewelled with such eyes the great goshawk’s head?
Violence has been the sire of all the world’s values.
Who would remember Helen’s face
Lacking the terrible halo of spears?
Who formed Christ but Herod and Caesar,
The cruel and bloody victories of Caesar?
Violence, the bloody sire of all the world’s values.
Never weep, let them play,
Old violence is not too old to beget new values.