Category: Poetry

On the Fifth Day – Jane Hirshfield

On the fifth day

the scientists who studied the rivers

were forbidden to speak

or to study the rivers.

The scientists who studied the air

were told not to speak of the air,

and the ones who worked for the farmers

were silenced,

and the ones who worked for the bees.

Someone, from deep in the Badlands,

began posting facts.

The facts were told not to speak

and were taken away.

The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.

Now it was only the rivers

that spoke of the rivers,

and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees

continued to move toward their fruit.

The silence spoke loudly of silence,

and the rivers kept speaking,

of rivers, of boulders and air.

Bound to gravity, earless and tongueless,

the untested rivers kept speaking.

Bus drivers, shelf stockers,

code writers, machinists, accountants,

lab techs, cellists kept speaking.

They spoke, the fifth day,

of silence.

‘The Moon After Election Day’ a poem by Alex Dimitrov

‘The Moon After Election Day’

I’m looking at the moon tonight,
the closest it’s been to Earth since 1948
and feel relieved we can do little to ruin it.
That can’t be true, you say, and for a moment
even the moon’s loneliness escapes isolation
and depends on something else. It’s attached.
Like us and what we abandon. Us
and the evil we refuse. The same evil
we share history with, the thin membrane
between you or me and the worst of life.
It’s already past midnight and another election
is over in the United States of America.
The oceans will not continue into infinity.
Nor will our money. Nor will this suffering.
We have voted and proven again
we do not know one another. I am trying
so hard to understand this country, I tell you
even as I’m about to fail loving you (I know this)
in the way people need to be loved
which is without deception, which is almost
impossible. Don’t you love it though, you say,
and I remember the first time I saw you in a room
without anyone else. Don’t you love the moon?
And because it’s easy to say it, I do, I make sure
to tell you I do. Despite the news I knew years ago:
no one saves anyone. We’re on the moon.
-Alex Dimitrov