Today's poem is by Cyrus Cassells

More Than Peace and Cypresses

More than peace and cypresses, emboldened
hares at the field's edge,

Father, I love
gallantry, tenacity, the sanguine

heart before the ledge:
the artist questing and failing —

the feet of bested Icarus
plunging into the sea's crest —

the artist triumphing: a page of fire
from the book of heroes.

More than light-hooved gazelles, views
from the mizzenmast,

enlivening shores,
more than soldier-still lilies, I love

the torchlike men who've taught me —
past the rueful

glitter of lucre and guns,
past the starkness of the lynching tree —

the truth-or-bust beauty
of passion transformed

into sheer compassion,
true shouldering,

and common as breath, common as breath,
the extravagant wheel of birth and death.

Copyright © 2004 Cyrus Cassells All rights reserved
from More Than Peace and Cypresses
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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