Monday, July 04, 2011

Intimations of the Next World


"The souls of things dead and bygone
Haunt the appearances of living things."
Fernando Pessoa

Summer brings terror:
the Egyptian "Thermidor"
and bombs exploding
in a school in Tripoli.
While Chávez reveals he has

cancer, the Pumés
mount a ceremony for
his recovery
and Hillary prays for his
accelerated demise.

More than 100
years ago Mark Twain described
the daily visits
of his doctor, who never
could cure a boil on his thigh,

but charged a fortune
and bored him nearly to death;
Twain, a firm critic
of his government's actions,
if he were alive today

would not last too long:
crimes against humanity
are officially
now impune, but dissent is
undoubtedly criminal.

McCain claims fires in
Arizona were set by
workers; in Los Alamos,
New Mexico, flames surround

stockpiled nuclear
bombs and improperly stored
waste, while winds drop pine needle
cinders in Española.

In Santa Clara
Pueblo, native artists
form luminous pots
from ashes of fires so old
they hold prehistoric souls.