Why do we
invite the world’s rancors and agonies
Into our minds though walking in a wilderness?
– Robinson Jeffers (“Going to Horse Flats”)
All the props in place, the stage is ever-set
for calamities, for the struggles for power,
for deceit in scripts yet unwritten, but predictable.
Two Red Tails strafe a passing eagle
reluctantly retreating to a steep hillside
to stand his ground, claim his space
to face their withdrawal. We watch snakes
squeeze and swallow one another whole
as the bobcat waits upon the tailings of a burrow—
this world, and that beyond it, turns on violence
despite our protests, despite our compromises,
despite the logic of compassion to dissuade it long.