L wRnu ,
THE GREAT MAN AS THE PUBLIC'S MAN
If from your windows you can see him hustling
In the house opposite, unlocking drawers
Or shutting them and mysteries crowd your rind;
Reflect: the possible, untold designs
That circle him and center your attention
Have neither soared nor snagged, his deeds remain
Dubious, not yet measured nor performed
And your smart windows in the four directions
That eye him must await answer until
His prints lie traceable in the grand sand
For you, grand public, to sit upon and hatch.
Once you do and once he makes peace with your
Snubbed nose on the glass, then with pointed finger
You may neglect him or with pointed pride
Fix him'on pedestals for the next age
To know as little and to see as much of.
Locate him in another mode: when people
Laugh aloud of scurry with umbrellas
He also laughs, crawls under an umbrella
Until you beckon him, then he's found out,
Discovered like a diamond; not a king
Born to a necessary genius, but
Elected jointly and by fitful grace
Drawn from the midst like the whole crowd incarnate.
Best when he's needed, ready for occasion,
Fit to mount highest when the cries create him
He disappoints never, his response will be
Dependable as gold, and his steps plain
For photographs to catch and prove undoubted;
The most enjoyable women will take seats
Beside him and the greatest men make way.
Why must his mettle be the public's plum,
Why were his fine concealments not arraigned
By his own faith or simple fostering
Nor laurels hung in balance to his worth?
Why must your chorus be one step ahead
To pounce on him, his mark made, or to fish
Him wildly from full galleries, unknown,
Watching him break forth like a sudden gesture
And remain standing while the light disposes?
He serves no answer, one reads in his eyes
Or in his handiwork: "Mine was no mere trust
To toil behind-doors in romantic, blind,
Indifference. Days were promising, at night
Hordes might assemble to receive my word
Noted or nameless. You and I arrived
Be sure concourse. You were the fibre within
My strength and found yourself mirrored in there
That now we keep like wares upon a stall,
Fetched from far places to stand side by side."
But beyond reasons, curious, I await
The next bland notice in the newspapers.
-Irving J. Weiss
by CLIIFFORD GRAHAM
The distant island woods beyond our care
Grew closer when the timber blazed up there.
The double blaze of fear and haze
Looked menacing to those along the shore,
As the wind hurled sparks across the waves.
"The water douses sparks, and the sand won't catch. fire,
But the houses,"- and the wind blew wild.
"But the houses, O the houses,
We must watch and guard the houses,
We must keep the houses from the mounting blaze.
Patrol the houses, douse the sparks,
Wet the houses," feed the tension,
As the charring timber toppled on the isle.
"We must fight the fire with fire!"
So they set their homes on fire,
And they gathered on the shore between their fears.,
Homeless, thoughtless, hot and hatless,
The pyrophobes together manned the boats.
And the men that rowed the boats,
Huddled in their khaki coats,
As they steered their way ahead into the fire,
Their desire, and their death.
The breath of fear no longer near,
They lay quiet in the ashes of the forest.