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heron totem
Up the long beach, a fl ock of sanderlings
Will swoop past a ridge of ocean roaring near
(Their white chests fl ashing), tilt and disappear,
Or pelicans line up, dark, heavy things,
And form one body with a dozen wings
Approaching me head-on, or godwits fl are
Warm cinnamon wing-linings on the gray air
When they veer off in the big fl ocks winter brings.
I love them all, and most this homely one:
Color of driftwood, among the bustlers, the wary
Swervers, he leans inquiringly, and waits.
Slow, frail, ungainly, set for the long run,
Silent with hope, by nature solitary,
He picks his spot, stands still, and concentrates.
politics: reading the papers
On the fi rst page, review of Brecht by Spender.
Asks the tough question last: how come he
Clammed up about Stalin? -- Because, you see,
Brecht could "play games with evil," with no tender
Conscience, for the sake of future good. (I render
The prose down to its shred of meat.) Page three,
It's Solzhenitsyn -- getting by memory
His prose and verse, in the gulag. Old non-bender.
And in the News, Bukovsky (Vladimir,
I mean): "I don't like certain ideas because
They bring terrible results." His prose is clear.
"The most dangerous thing is when you start
To limit your conscience" for the noble cause....
Cold dusk, and time to run ... where's the tide-chart?