The Smallest Coffins Are the Heaviest

More guns in a school. This time

thousands of miles away in a place

we imagine full of violence and terror

but is probably more like your hometown

than anyone of us dares to think.

The title for this poem was seen this week on a protest sign in the aftermath of militants entered a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, opening fire on the students with automatic weapons and detonating multiple explosive devices. The attack killed 132 children and nine staff members, and another 120 were injured. All of the gunmen were also killed.  The Pakistani Taliban, claiming responsibility, said the assault on the children was in retaliation for attacks on their own families in North Waziristan, where the Pakistani Army has been carrying out an offensive against several militant groups.

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Conversation With An Angel

who wasn’t interested in life and death

talk over our coffee. “Beauty’s the start of terror,”

he said. “that we can hardly bear.”

“One of your poets actually said that.

You adore serene scorn. Every angel’s terrifying.”

angel cup.png

 

The conversation is, in part, from Rilke’s cycle of poems that he called Duino Elegies. They talk about the differences between angels and people, and that human beings are put on earth in order to experience the beauty of ordinary things.