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From Sirens to Song

At first, I didn’t notice the sirens. As a medical doctor, I’d grown used to electronic distress calls. Besides, I live in New York City. Ambulance whines and taxi horns are the treble and tenor lines of urban music. My eight-year-old pointed them out. “Coronavirus,” she said, as an . . . . Continue Reading »

The Final Enemy

Human mortality has always fascinated the greatest ­creative minds—from Homer declaiming on the slayings of Patroclus and Hector, to Sigmund Freud speculating on death drives. Roger Scruton even locates the significance of artistic endeavor in the fact that we understand our existence to be . . . . Continue Reading »

Thumbing an Issue of Forbes

In the obits, ballplayers still finish first,their August exploits no one quite remembersrestored to life: the diving stop unrehearsedamid the routine plays of life’s surrender. But beneath our unnamed pastoral hero,I’ll find her, too, Ms. Forbes-Under-Thirtywho built a company up from zero,ran . . . . Continue Reading »

Via Negativa: Mourning Dove

Sightless in morning fog,she laces fallen fibers of fan palm, bunchgrass,the birch’s lost twigs, spins an empty creation.Conifer needles, the fox’s hair round out the void,what was cast off and left for dead now the dwelling,twined with stippled space of eggs to come, primevalpoint of departure, . . . . Continue Reading »

Requiem for Ethel

Your eyes sparkled. And there was playfulnessIn your smile that veiled your age,Softening the hard years with its warm caress. And oh, that accent—that Louisiana drawl—It dripped like summer-morning dewIn fields long in grass before harvest fall. You reached out when you spoke, with . . . . Continue Reading »

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