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in plain air 197
Reading his Times indeed almost unmanned
Me with his questions. He can't understand
Why gods and heroes cause so many woes.
Odysseus, with his lies and murders -- not a bit nice!
Couldn't he practice a gentler kind of vice?
These Afghans, skinning the Russian infi del
Alive! Blood-smeared old Faiths, awake and well,
Infl icting on us still their gruesome folly ...
Why can't we all be good, and kind, and jolly?
running in the rain again;
a swede with stout legs
I run and think of running here the night
After the fi rst big rainstorm of the year,
And the tide low, just a few people here,
Wave-watchers, mostly, shapes making upright
Thick ink-strokes on the louring watery light
Between gray waves and low clouds, and the air
Sharp and the beach vast, gaunt (with here and there
Rank kelp-heaps), bending fl atly out of sight.
I'd fi nished fast and started cooling out,
There's a big Swede nearby doing same,
Stretching and bending and then gazing about --
And edging my way, I see, as if by aim;
He says, "It's beautiful, in its own way,"
Walking past. "Yeh, it's beautiful," I say.