Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.
Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.
O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy.
Waterlillies in my soul’s lake:
This poem basically looks for true beauty. True beauty stays despite what might physically surround you. Despite the dark fallout from the civil war (Selma) and the Vietnam war (Saigon), the poet Robert Hayden finds peace in Monet’s Waterlillies, making waterlillies a symbol of lasting tranquility. Based on this concept I wrote a poem earlier today: “Waterlillies in my soul’s lake” –