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"[I]n times of crisis it's interesting that people don't turn to the novel or say, 'We should all go out to a movie,' or 'Ballet would help us.' It's always poetry. What we want to hear is a human voice speaking directly in our ear."

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003) speaking to the New York Times, as quoted in The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson

this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters

we honor courage in all its forms - and remember that we all have mothers

cross-posted at DailyKos, Booman Tribune, European Tribune,  My Left Wing, and TexasKos.

image and poem below the fold


An Iraqi street cleaner collects shoes following a suicide attack against police in the southern Iraqi town of Hilla, 100km (60 miles) south of Baghdad May 30, 2005. As if removing dead dogs, collecting trash and hosing down bloodstained pavements were not enough, street cleaners in Baghdad face a lethal enemy lurking underneath mounds of garbage -- bombs.
(Ali Abu Shish/Reuters)

from Evening Walk as the School Year Starts
by Sydney Lea

It's some awful stink nearby that draws the raven,
but the rest of the world seems fixed on the morbid too:
a squirrel keeps pouring spruce cones down at me;
a gall-blighted butternut groans; the broadleafs wilt;
there's a pair of toads at my feet that wheels have flattened
side by side, like cartoon icons of failure;
mosquitoes strafe me, a mammoth dragonfly--
one of the season's last--attacks a moth

- - -
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witness every day

Originally posted to RubDMC on Sun May 14, 2006 at 07:49 AM PDT.

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