to the seeds, to the beginnings; to one clear word

I want to forget their names, the generals,
advisors, puppet rulers,
the puffed-up and the brought-low,

I want not to know them,
not hear their plans, their excuses,
the President and the President’s men,
the Pope with his white smoke for voodoo,

the suits, ties, teeth, insignia,
the guns, the names of trucks and weapons.

I want to forget them all,
to be washed of them,
to begin again: where no one knows who anyone is,
or what he believes.

To give my attention to:
frangipani leaves uncurling,
the smell of jasmine,
one person helping another across a street;

to the seeds,
to the beginnings; to one clear word for which
there is no disguise and no alternative.

–“Poetry in Time of War” by Rosalind Brackenbury

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