The Shape of Peace

A cast iron horse on a block
of oak serves as bookend
on the top shelf of the pine case
against the wall. The metal
form features a saddle, but no rider.

A fore-hoof, raised in readiness,
never falls to action.
The next battle never begins.
The noble warrior is lost.

I see the shape of peace
in the beast’s stillness, absence
of the human driver.

Today’s Unrest Summary


Midtown irritability index

   midday today

      a new record high,

   nine raised fists,

      compared with yesterday’s

   eight point five.

Today it’s a ten in LA.


Put together with recent levels

   of time squeeze, triggered

      helplessness, and TV

   body image tease pressure,

      we can see how these clouds

   of doubt and anger hover

over the entire metropolis.


Manufactured appetite measures

   also peaking on our meters—

      trend appears associated

   with higher-definition depictions

      in magazines and on most screens.

   Meanwhile, Main Street money hunger

averages seven slashed S’s.


Satellite scans of unpredicted powder

   ignitions, worldwide, last

      twenty-four hours, higher

   than expected by thousands,

      and no national

   holiday here or in China.

We’re at a loss for major factors.


Again, on the local front,

   assaults by strangers along

      busy thoroughfares—our figures

   show today’s rating as

      three flat noses. So,

   be careful out there. Also,

the window and bridge splat count is down.


Blasted corpses, by morgue report,

   surprisingly steady, amid

      conjecture of a calm-before-

   the-storm effect, expecting

      clustered rampages by summer.

   Kids cutting overall holding,

vein-to-artery ratio falling.


Our international desk sends this—

   a note of commentary:

      Global villa-to-hovel continuum

   thinning out in the middle could be

      crucial. Hostility

   fills in where face-to-face

experience hasn’t got a chance.


Our aside: Unlicensed talk

   across familiar rifts recommended

      but unfunded. Parks,

   the banks of rivers, corners

      by crowded crosswalks—these

   are the sorts of prime sites we might watch for evidence of uninvited peace.