Today's Beautiful Gem: `An Airstrip in Essex' by Donald Hall

"It is a lost road into the air.
It is a desert
among sugar beets.
The tiny wings
of the Spitfires of nineteen-forty-one
flake in the mud of the Channel.

"Near the road a brick pillbox
totters under a load of grass,
where Homeguards waited
in the white fogs of the invasion winter.

"Goodnight, old ruined war.

"In Poland the wind rides on a jagged wall
Smoke rises from the stones; no it is mist."

Note: The author has this to say about his poem: "I was writing
at first about my feelings when I looked at the remains of a war.
Then I felt strangely that I must say goodbye to it, and my
imagination turned to a greater suffering; and to a brief illusion
of its endurance. I did not expect the leap which my poem took,
but I came to value it more than anything I expected."

Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao