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Robert Duncan

The devout have laid out gardens in the desert.

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There is no dispute that judges need a pay raise.

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If the government is going to mandate levels and punish schools for failing, they should send that money to the school system.

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The formation of glass from the melting is like starting a clock. It resets the time for us to determine billions of years later.

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Unfortunately, we haven't found many very old rocks on Earth because our planet's surface is constantly renewed by plate tectonics, coupled with erosion.

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Childhood’s Retreat

It’s in the perilous boughs of the tree
out of blue sky the wind
sings loudest surrounding me.

And solitude, a wild solitude
’s reveald, fearfully, high I’d climb
into the shaking uncertainties,

part out of longing, part daring my self,
part to see that
widening of the world, part

to find my own, my secret
hiding sense and place, where from afar
all voices and scenes come back

—the barking of a dog, autumnal burnings,
far calls, close calls— the boy I was
calls out to me
here the man where I am “Look!

[...] Read more

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The Song of the Borderguard

The man with his lion under the shed of wars
sheds his belief as if he shed tears.
The sound of words waits -
a barbarian host at the borderline of sense.

The enamord guards desert their posts
harkening to the lion-smell of a poem
that rings in their ears.

-Dreams, a certain guard said
were never designd so
to re-arrange an empire.

Along about six o'clock I take out my guitar
and sing to a lion
who sleeps like a line of poetry
in the shed of wars.

The man shedding his belief
knows that the lion is not asleep,

[...] Read more

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A Little Language

I know a little language of my cat, though Dante says
that animals have no need of speech and Nature
abhors the superfluous. My cat is fluent. He
converses when he wants with me. To speak

is natural. And whales and wolves I’ve heard
in choral soundings of the sea and air
know harmony and have an eloquence that stirs
my mind and heart—they touch the soul. Here

Dante’s religion that would set Man apart
damns the effluence of our life from us
to build therein its powerhouse.

It’s in his animal communication Man is
true, immediate, and
in immediacy, Man is all animal.

His senses quicken in the thick of the symphony,
old circuits of animal rapture and alarm,

[...] Read more

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An African Elegy

In the groves of Africa from their natural wonder
the wildebeest, zebra, the okapi, the elephant,
have enterd the marvelous. No greater marvelous
know I than the mind’s
natural jungle. The wives of the Congo
distil there their red and the husbands
hunt lion with spear and paint Death-spore
on their shields, wear his teeth, claws and hair
on ordinary occasions. There the Swahili
open his doors, let loose thru the trees
the tides of Death’s sound and distil
from their leaves the terrible red. He
is the consort of dreams I have seen, heard
in the orchestral dark
like the barking of dogs.


Death is the dog-headed man zebra striped
and surrounded by silence who walks like a lion,
who is black. It was his voice crying come back,

[...] Read more

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