An occasional madness, airborne
from without the seeming calm
of light that softens even underbrush
and stones amid the evergreens,
peasant-house or crumbling fortress
fading ochre to white,
it arrives with a terrible hush
again, multimillenary, recurrent
moaning of the land in submission,
sightless rattle of secured shutters,
polishing the sky a glasslike blue,
thwarting life’s heavenward reach to where
the trees still bend southeastward
even when the wind dies down.

Stephen Sartarelli

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 12 Number 8, on page 35
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