Friday, September 6, 2013

Small Things

I worry for the small things
 - Raising Arizona

those with teeth and thick skulls
need no advocates.
their fists are dumb machines
smashing the earth,
clumsy with the insolence
of wounded giants.
everyone knows
when the sly world plots
and slides a flat blade
through their shouting skins

and those with flexible tongues
they can look after themselves.
they use words like dangerous toys
spinning a beam of colours
into a white shield.
pain stares in its blank slant
and goes away empty handed.

but small things can't argue
their way into shelter
when the world explodes on them
implacably as stars.
they have only feathers
for the hurricanes
and thin leaves for the fires.
when bulldozers eat their houses
they squat on the edge of valleys
with nowhere to go.
The world is too mean for trust
but generous enough for murder.
It's getting worse.  I worry
for the small things.

From This Is The Stone, Penguin Books 1991