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This Sacred Earth

This Silvery Day

waves sparkling

sky a royal blue promise

through gray clouds

crows caw  squirrels bark

a tiny swallow chirps in the eucalyptus

a peacock display of bushes lines the bluff

a plein air workshop meets

to paint differing views


I hear a blast of static

see a couple cuddling on a blanket

"drones over Mosul"

veiled women

strap themselves to explosive devices 

train their young for suicide


I inhale perfume of purple sage

watch as a lone sailboat drifts

toward the brown haze at the horizon

and wonder

what gene must mutate

for Evil to vanish

from this sacred earth


Nancy Shiffrin