A Meadowlark in Bolton Hill/#Its habitat is open...

July 02, 1992

A Meadowlark in Bolton Hill

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Its habitat is open grassland

but for reasons of Nature

there it sat on a small spread

of cliped lawn in center city.

Hunkered down, its head settled

into its shoulders, to conceal

the brilliant yellow breast patch

and wide black crescent

Of the Meadowlark, Sturnella magna,

revealing through the tussocks

only its protective coloration

of buff and black streaked with chestnut.

A study in deception and charm

that's even heard in its song,

a clear mellow whistle, teasing

"Can't see me, see you."

-- William Amelia

September 1, 1945

+

I sit in one of the dives

Fifty-Second Street

Uncertain and afraid

As the clever hopes expire

Of a low dishonest decade:

Waves of anger and fear

Circulate over the bright

And darkened lands of the earth,

Obsessing our private lives;

The unmentionable odour of death

Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can

Unearth the whole offence

From Luther until now

That has driven a culture mad,

Find what occurred at Linz,

What huge imago made

A psychopathic god:

I and the public know

What all schoolchildren learn,

Those to whom evil is done

Do evil in return. . .

-- W.H. Auden

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