A Worldly Country

from A Worldly Country (2007)

        Not the smoothness, not the insane clocks on the square,
	the scent of manure in the municipal parterre,
	not the fabrics, the sullen mockery of Tweety Bird,
	not the fresh troops that needed freshening up.  If it occurred
	in real time, it was OK, and if it was time in a novel
	that was OK too.  From palace and hovel
	the great parade flooded avenue and byway
	and turnip fiekds became just another highway.
	Leftover bonbons were thrown to the chickens
	and geese, who squawked like the very dickens.
	There was no peace in the bathroom, none in the china closet
	or the banks, where no one came to make a deposit.
	In short al hell broke loose that wide afternoon. 
	By evening all was calm again.  A crescent moon
	hung in the sky like a parrot on its perch.
	Departing guests smiled and called, “See you in Church!”
	For night, as usual, knew what it was doing,
	providing sleep to offset the great ungluing
	that tomorrow again would surely bring.
	As I gazed at the quiet rubble, one thing
	puzzled me: What had happened, and why?
	One minute we were up to our necks in the rebelliousness,
	and the next, peace had subdued the ranks of hellishness.
        So often it happens that the time we turn around in
	soon becomes the shoal our pathetic skiff will run aground in.
	And just as waves are anchored to the bottom of the sea
	we must reach the shallows before God cuts us free.