Confusing, how the landscape stumbles— there is sky beyond this sky, a backyard of chickens, a broken dog. Ambition, like green fields, slows upon autumns and the few ancient trucks. Work earth, plow and hoe, bent over the soil again. Years of this sameness. Years of the white sun.
To marry a girl was the one thing. The other, talk—long into nights out past the river. Sometimes three of us found ourselves there. We shared what we had, even failures we’d carried in our coats. In that certain dark, nothing but compassionate days, when our tilling turned the ground to wider orbits, to order.
A village closes upon itself. The road’s rise toward Copsa Mare is the firm hand urging. Doorways are boundaries children learn to respect. Someone, born to it, swells within his father’s isolation, painting his barn a fierce yellow. Hay in the lofts. I know how surely we fall to ourselves in this world.
There are tracings in the snow-filled field, Tracks I see but cannot read; except the deer’s Small heart-shaped prints, the rest remains A mystery. And so, I think of Hebrew script, The jagged flame that writes of God, but Is not God, the scholars say. God dwells in White fire, not in black. In sky glimpsed Through dark winter trees, in breath-filled Silence when we pray.
As for me, I can explain nothing, but stammer with the fire that burns inside me, and the life that has been bestowed on me. Lorca
It is no mistake that what bears us up has the power to draw us under—and the melody of either sphere can deflower the heart with pitiless persuasion. We are always stringed things waiting to vibrate.
Do angels lick their lips in the full-heat of noonday or shudder as the clouds pass over the sun? Yes, is the only word they know when the hems of their robes are singed and their feet become ash.
Still they ascend and descend, heavily winged and hovering in sublime indifference. Which is why
Yes, is the word I most like to hear you speak. When you say it, I know I will wait for your next call. . . .
I am standing now and lifting my arms to the sun, arching my back and tilting toward the shadows.
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).