All this violence: wars and cruelties—
collective and individual—
carnage of all kinds,
now as always
back to the beginning of time.
Our kind endlessly slaughters itself;
its appetite for self-destruction is boundless.
Yet and still every day the sun rises,
white clouds roll across the sky,
vegetables get planted and grow,
and late in the afternoon someone
sits quietly with a cup of tea.
From Happy Life (Copper Canyon Press, 2011).
Used by permission of the publisher.
David Budbill (1940 - 2016) was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a streetcar driver and a minister's daughter. He is the author of seven books of poems, eight plays, a novel, a collection of short stories, a picture book for children, dozens of essays, and the libretto for an opera. A one-time commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, David received numerous awards in the course of his career. Learn more about him at www.davidbudbill.com.