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Poetry: History


Phillip of Spain

There are so many who depend on us.
Their hungry eyes tax our liberality.
Ravenous as wounded animals
parched with blood, they have heard of us.

They have heard we sleep in peace.

The quiet heart follows the quiet belly.
Armies traverse the fields on
the easy road to battle, and only
the stomach protests.    Governors
commandeer what remains. The soldiers
pass, back and forth, unable to discern
whether they go to war, or return.

A truce is arranged, and the fields
are planted anew.    By summer,
the armies break forth, and no one
remembers.       Next spring,
there will be another truce, but
no planting.

The temper of men is not determined
by green shoots in rich fields.      No.
The temper of men is hungry for dreams.
The night is crowded with
too much sleeping.
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