Reality demands

Reality demands 
we also state the following:
life goes on. 
It does so near Cannae and Borodino,
at Kosovo Polje and Guernica.
There is a gas station 
in a small plaza in Jericho, 
and freshly painted 
benches near Bila Hora. 
Letters travel 
between Pearl Harbor and Hastings,
a furniture truck passes 
before the eyes of the lion of Cheronea, 
and only an atmospheric front advances
towards the blossoming orchards near Verdun.
There is so much of Everything 
that Nothing is quite well concealed. 
Music flows 
from yachts near Actium 
and couples on board dance in the sunlight.
So much keeps happening,
that it must be happening everywhere. 
Where stone is heaped on stone, 
there is an ice cream truck 
besieged by children. 
Where Hiroshima had been, 
Hiroshima is again 
manufacturing products
for everyday use.
Not without its charms is this terrible world,
not without its mornings 
worth our waking.
In the fields of Maciejowice
the grass is green
and on the grass is — you know how grass is — 
transparent dew.
Maybe there are no fields other than battlefields,
those still remembered, 
and those long forgotten, 
birch woods and cedar woods,
snows and sands, iridescent swamps,
and ravines of dark defeat 
where today, in sudden need, 
you squat behind a bush.
What moral flows from this? Maybe none.
But what really flows is quickly-drying blood, 
and as always, some rivers and clouds.
On the tragic mountain passes
the wind blows hats off heads
and we cannot help– 
but laugh.
Wislawa Szymborska

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6 Responses to Reality demands

  1. This writing reminds me of the movie The Last Samurai blood in the fields but beauty seen in the land & skies!

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