Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WAR THAT ISN'T WHAT YOU THINK, by JAMES GALVIN



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THE WAR THAT ISN'T WHAT YOU THINK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The little wind I saw curving and lifting
Last Line: Where she grazes the horizon down to nothing
Subject(s): Animals; Country Life; Horses; Humanity; Nature


The little wind I saw curving and lifting
The black mare's mane
Never came this way,
Though I waited, face tilted:
To wind as heliotropic is to sun.

We have to keep our disappointment alive.
We have to sustain our appal, act surprised
That humanity has (again today!)
Failed to evolve away from meanness.
That we ourselves have failed in this.

Invisible earth,
I still can't feel any wind,
Can't feel though I hear cottonwood leaves that hung still
Turn sudden, turn all-at-once,
Like small birds in a flight of small birds, turning,

Like one thing instead of many,
Turn silver side to the wind when it comes,
Shiver and moan when it comes.
O wind, immaculate, that lifts the mane,
Immaculate, that turns the silver leaves,
That bears away the smoke of sacrifice.

The wind, when it finds me, bears no trace
Of sage-sweet horsesmell, no color black,
No softness of muzzle of the
Mare, her mane curving and lifting,
Where she grazes the horizon down to nothing.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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