Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Arlene Corwin writes

 Paradise Lost (Can’t Let It Go)

Can’t let it go - not yet -
When bodies burnt
Are yet to be detected.
I, infected
By the sweat, the heat, 
The still existent rainless threat. 

Might that not be metaphor
For Milton’s fall of man?*
A stopgap setback: temporary,
Conflagration momentary
Decrease following expansion. 

A balloon 
Must always pop
Out in and on itself,
It is the law; 
Fast or slow
(for things take time),
Regrowth following again.
A cycle starting,
Cycles that can never end,
The winds of time determining…

Since you and I live only now
(as far as we, the planetary
                   Lilliputians know)
It’s always now for us to care for;
Never certain of the future.

Most of us avoid the four pronged syllable;
Maybe time has shown up
To take them on our lips,
The ‘ups’
Beginning to be ‘downs’.

*I don’t mean to make literal demands on the reader, but Paradise Lost was an epic poem by John Milton published in 1667.  It is a metaphor for the fall and rise/again of man.
 -- Noah Berger


  1. "Hundreds remain unaccounted for since the Camp Fire ignited Thursday morning and swept through Paradise, population 26,000, and neighboring communities in Northern California’s Butte County. It had burned 135,000 acres as of Wednesday morning, destroying 7,600 single-family homes and killing at least 48. To find and identify the dead as quickly as possible, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea has called in nearly 200 search personnel, along with canine teams trained to find human remains. Searchers are also working with anthropologists who can distinguish whether remains are human or animal. In Paradise on Tuesday, search teams fanned out, targeting locations where those who are missing lived or were last seen. Remains have been found in both cars and homes. Among the biggest challenges confronting investigators working to identify the dead is the condition of their remains, which may consist of no more than a few teeth or bone fragments. In some cases, there may be nothing left."

    --Erin Ailworth, The Wall Street Journal

  2. Jonathan Swift introduced Lilliput to the world in the 1st part of his 1726 novel "Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships." It is an island 12 mi in circumference in the South Indian ocean, ruled by an emperor, and inhabited by people who are about 1/12 the height of humans elsewhere on the planet. Swift was inspired to call these tiny people Lilliputians when he saw the distant (and therefore small from the point of view of optical perspective) residents of Lilliput across the shores of Lough Ennell in County Westmeath, Ireland.
    Swift probably named the Lilliputians after the people of Lilliput


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