“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
i went for walk yesterday
and saw a deserted street
while a child walked along a beach in the sun
bars and churches with lights out
jesus in the grave contaminated by death
will he ever wake up?
i went for a walk the other day
and saw the juxtaposition of commerce and life
one sacrificed while the other saved
blue eyes and black bodies dying in the poison rain
will love dance in the field of lilies
will we ever know what to do?
i will go for a walk tomorrow
and see what i saw yesterday and the other day
playgrounds closed to children’s laughter
the white noise of humanity quieted for a season
to love another like ourselves and be our sister’s keeper
embraces distanced by plague but not forgotten
will there be meaning in decency?
Try to Praise the Mutilated World
By Adam Zagajewski
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
~ Adam Zagajewski (Translated, from the Polish, by Clare Cavanagh.) September 17, 2001, The New Yorker