March 2nd, 2010

reader

A Poem for Today

Lullaby

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit's carnal ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find our mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.
W. H. Auden
thought criminal

Dear Jim Bunning,

Steve Carlton was not only a greater pitcher than you, he is a better human being. Given his ravings about the Elders of Zion and how AIDS was created to kill blacks and gays, this would seem to be difficult. But Lefty, infamous for keeping his mouth shut as a player, in retirement also had the grace not to run for office and not to impose his deranged political opinions on the country, leading directly to the layoff of 2000 workers and an interruption in benefits that caused unthinkable hardship to hundreds of thousands.

You, sir, have one of the best health-care plans in the world and enough personal wealth not to need it. Not everyone is so lucky.