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

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