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October 6, 2004

Charm - by Howard Moss

Brancusi

Intelligence endures
The sea-shake of the heart,
Its flops and opening nights,
But the body's theatre alone
Eludes even its playwrights:
Too soon the script is done,
The curtain down. Applause.
Bravo! Encore! The lights...
And a rush to the doors.

Because the world's police
Have instinct on the books
Innocence is nice
But not for long. Good looks
Turn bad, and time's as famous
For playing dirty tricks
As virtue is, whose price
Is beautifully to skate
On increasingly thin ice.

The beauties of the brain
And body are not charm -
Though charming they can be.
Charm is a sympathy
That sometimes draws a line
Under the unProfound
By an irony of tone,
And it is mostly missed
Once it is heard and gone.

Old bones know charm the best;
They see the trees for the wood,
The shades at their light task,
The magical latitude
That time cannot redress;
Their knowledge is their loss:
Under the worldly mask
They take off at their risk
They feel the pull of childhood.

Life adds up to not much.
Subtracted every day,
Another sparrow falls
Oblivious from its perch.
That truth lacks charm, it's true,
Directly looked at, but
There is that version which
Can sometimes sound the depths
With the lightest touch.

October 6, 2004 at 09:01 PM | Permalink


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