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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Sunday June 16th 2024



I wake, mind and spirit clouded by the news.
Which news? Oh, you know ”” a finger here,
a toe there, the orange mutilations.
The gray sky says that things have been both
better and worse. How did the woman
on NPR put it ”” Americans have
developed a preference for certainty
over hope. That”'s the current we swim against.
Damp as it is, the air is surprisingly
clear. Suddenly I”'m not walking alone.
A small hawk, a Cooper”'s, alights on
a low branch, not flying off as I
come nearer, letting me have a good look.
I”'ve never seen a Cooper”'s hawk in this
place, much less at close range. I pull my
breath inward, beholding in sharp detail
the small shapely head with its hooked beak
and burning eye, its wings and tail that so
elegantly charge with life the space around
them. Friends, the greatest realists are those
who, uncertain about their certainty,
keep a door open to hope. This is still
a beautiful planet. You know how geese
before migrating will all at once start
into motion and with a great discordant
orchestral cry rise en mass from the water.
The day is coming when we”'ll do that too.

Note about Author Thomas R. Smith: Thomas R. Smith has had hundreds of poems published on three continents. In the U.S., his poems, essays, poetry reviews, have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, newspapers, periodicals, Public Radio, and seven books authored by him. Robert Bly writes: “Thomas R. Smith is a high-spirited poetry horse riding over the hills of emotion.” Smith”'s newest book Windy Day at Kabekona: New and Selected Prose Poems, has just been published by White Pine Press. He teaches at colleges and the Loft Literary Center.

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