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    starry sky with tree silhouettes in the foreground

    The Rawness of the World

    Richard Schiffman

    June 2, 2020
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    The Perseids

    Shards of interstellar flak,
    some smaller than a human eyeball.
    Too many shooting stars to wish on.
    Soon the moon will rise to smudge
    their tracks, then day will break
    to end the game. How many streak
    above our sleep, unheeded? I’ll check
    my dreams for traces – sudden flashes
    when an eyeball vanished
    in the radiance of its own seeing.

    The Rest Is Silence

    It’s not the wind that cries
    nor trees when they are ripped at by the wind,
    but only the tree that’s slow to bend.
    Sorrows are not what happens,
    but what holds against what happens.
    Speech is the resistance
    of the larynx to the body’s wind.
    Words are the forts we build
    to keep the rawness of the world at bay.
    The rest is silence.

    Contributed By Robert Schiffman

    Richard Schiffman is an environmental journalist, poet, and author of two biographies. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and other venues including the New York Times, BBC Radio, the Writer’s Almanac, American Life in Poetry, and Verse Daily. His collection of environmentally and spiritually themed poetry, What the Dust Doesn't Know, was published in 2017 by Salmon Poetry.

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