rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


Deep darkness prevails tonight. Westward, clouds hang over the valley, obscuring the stars, but eastward Orion rides toward the zenith where he will vanish with the rising of the sun. The intermittent breeze has taken on a welcome and unmistakably autumnal chill. From one road, then another, I hear the car. The Sunday papers are being delivered, slapping onto driveways the weight of the world to lie unread until the somnolent citizens wake, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee drifts on bright air and mingles with the scent of warming pines. For now, only the leaves rustle, and the silent pages lie folded and harmless, ignored by the passing raccoons. The nocturnal beasts have important things to do. There are trash cans to be raided, and dogs to be made to bark. Death counts and opinion polls mean nothing to them. Though adapted from field and woodland to streets and back yards, the news they need of their circumscribed world is as apt to come through their noses and ears as through their eyes. To be blessed with a benevolent illiteracy is a wonderful thing.

After the Last Bulletins

by Richard Wilbur

After the last bulletins the windows darken
And the whole city founders readily and deep,
Sliding on all its pillows
To the thronged Atlantis of personal sleep,

And the wind rises. The wind rises and bowls
The day's litter of news in the alleys. Trash
Tears itself on the railings,
Soars and falls with a soft crash,

Tumbles and soars again. Unruly flights
Scamper the park, and taking a statue for dead
Strike the positive eyes,
Batter and flap the stolid head

And scratch the noble name. In empty lots
Our journals spiral in a fierce noyade
Of all we thought to think,
Or caught in corners cramp and wad

And twist our words. And some from gutters flail
Their tatters at the tired patrolman's feet,
Like all that fisted snow
That cried beside his long retreat

Damn you! damn you! to the emperor's horse's heels.
Oh none too soon through the air white and dry
Will the clear announcer's voice
Beat like a dove, and you and I

From the heart's anarch and responsible town
Return by subway-mouth to life again,
Bearing the morning papers,
And cross the park where saintlike men

White and absorbed, with stick and bag remove
The litter of the night, and footsteps rouse
With confident morning sound
The songbirds in the public boughs.


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