A Hair's Breadth In Burma there is a huge rock that balances on the edge of a cliff, kept from toppling, they say, by one hair plucked from Buddha's beard. Monks rise early to climb the steep, jagged path to view this miracle as the sun begins its day shining on the thin strand so delicately placed. I understand this pilgrimage, to witness life spared one more day. I saw a picture once in the newspaper of a car stalled at the foot of a steep embankment. A school bus had slid off the highway down the embankment and was kept from rolling, from killing the children, by the stalled car some driver had earlier cursed and kicked, stomping off through the snow, his day ruined. I cut out that picture, put it in a folder labeled "miracles," where I will put this one of the rock in Burma. And when my children complain about gathering for prayers before bed, I will take one out now and then to show them how precariously life is balanced.
Sonnet: To Science Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art! Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes. Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart, Vulture, whose wings are dull realities? How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise? Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies, Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing? Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car? And driven the Hamadryad from the wood To seek a shelter in some happier star? Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood, The Elfin from the green grass, and from me The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?