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Saturday, May 12, 2018


by John J. Brugaletta

How all dissensions strip the body politic

and cast each virtue into festered stench.

Is this a stammer of our history
or the corroded end of moral life?

Our garden is unweeded, and the gorge

gives rise to venomed cates and fetid lies.

Where stand the heroes, heroines to salve
our running sores with clean and dauntless truths?

They speak despite the tide of predators

who seek their heads to dangle at our gates.

But still carnations kiss the air with scent,
birds build, the friendly sun still shines.

And still we counter blows unflinchingly.

John J. Brugaletta is professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at California State University, Fullerton, where he edited South Coast Poetry Journal for ten years. He has published over 370 poems in 75 venues and has six collections of his poetry in print, the latest of which is Peripheral Visions (Negative Capability Press, 2017). A seventh volume, Selected Poems, is in press with Future Cycle Press. X.J. Kennedy has called his selected poems "a vital contribution to American poetry."