Compromised Land

Because promises can’t be relied upon,
I’m trying to trade in the Promised Land
for compromised land –I know glamor’s less
with this kind of earth, but we’re so many…

I will compromise with most anyone
about most anything – even in this
I’m less than absolute, but let us now
negotiate night after night while stars

that can’t hear bitter biting words progress
through the heavens and the constellations
change so we can’t be assured where we are –
let’s argue until the guns and tanks rust

I’m ready to settle compromised land,
let a new vocation find my right hand

We Should Not Seek

We should not seek instruction in cruelty
from our enemies: they have much to teach,
but the greater danger is that our joy
is in what avid learners we can be

How to turn away from such dread pursuit,
how to make peace with needing to make peace,
how to grasp how close glory and gory
live to each other, how to find splendor

in giving up the magnificent hopes
that have let us feel that we might matter –
cruelty and vanity, conspirators
in glistening armor, old, old allies

They urge that what’s slight in us, what’s tender,
slights us, so we must be pride’s defender

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