Winter In The Soul by Ed Hack

Winter In The Soul

The birds are singing in an afternoon
as green as emeralds from days of rain.
The sun lets go, the light a vast balloon
that lifts the eye, the world become a flame
that quickly dims. An outburst, nothing more,
as silvered-white and gray resume, the spring’s
new palette for a time of bloody war.
And yet, and yet, some birds begin to sing
their sweet, brief songs, two notes or three. They pause.
they start again. And much it grieved my heart
to think / What man has made of man. . . . What cause
but madness, evil playing its old part?
What is this ice within the human soul
that hates, that kills, that does what it is told?

by Ed Hack

Editor’s Note: Wordsworth said it first, but this poem’s mourning of human folly (even as spring arises) serves to emphasize the everlasting futility of “bloody war.” 

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