Ready For A Change

William Stafford (1914 – 1993)

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.

H. L. Mencken


At the Bomb Testing Site

By William Stafford
At noon in the desert a panting lizard
waited for history, its elbows tense,
watching the curve of a particular road
as if something might happen.
It was looking at something farther off
than people could see, an important scene
acted in stone for little selves
at the flute end of consequences.
There was just a continent without much on it
under a sky that never cared less.
Ready for a change, the elbows waited.
The hands gripped hard on the desert.

Ways of Rebelling

By Nathalie Handal 

Who needs to be at peace in the world? It helps to be between wars, to die a  few  times  each day to understand your father’s sky, as you take it apart piece  by  piece  and can’t feel  anything,  can’t  feel the tree growing under your feet, the eyes poking night only to find another night to compare it to. Whoever   heard   of   turning   pain  into   hummingbirds   or   red  birds— haven’t  we  grown?  What  does  it mean to be older?  Maybe a house with- out  doors  can  still  survive  a storm. Maybe I can’t find the proper way to rebel  or  damn it,  I can’t leave.  I want to,  but you grow inside of me. And as  I  watch   you, before  I  know  it,  I’m  too  heavy,  too full  of  you  to  move. Maybe  that’s what they meant when they said you shouldn’t love a country too much.