Train Ride – Federico García Lorca

After rain, through afterglow, the unfolding fan 

of railway landscape sidled onthe pivot 

of a larger arc into the green of evening; 

I remembered that noon I saw a gradual bud 

still white; though dead in its warm bloom; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

And I wondered what surgery could recover 

our lost, long stride of indolence and leisure 

which is labor in reverse; what physic recall the smile 

not of lips, but of eyes as of the sea bemused. 

We, when we disperse from common sleep to several 

tasks, we gather to despair; we, who assembled 

once for hopes from common toil to dreams 

or sickish and hurting or triumphal rapture; 

always our enemy is our foe at home. 

We, deafened with far scattered city rattles 

to the hubbub of forest birds (never having 

‘had time’ to grieve or to hear through vivid sleep 

the sea knock on its cracked and hollow stones) 

so that the stars, almost, and birds comply, 

and the garden-wet; the trees retire; We are 

a scared patrol, fearing the guns behind; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

What wonder that we fear our own eyes’ look 

and fidget to be at home alone, and pitifully 

put of age by some change in brushing the hair 

and stumble to our ends like smothered runners at their tape; 

We follow our shreds of fame into an ambush. 

Then (as while the stars herd to the great trough 

the blind, in the always-only-outward of their dismantled

archways, awake at the smell of warmed stone 

or the sound of reeds, lifting from the dim 

into the segment of green dawn) always 

our enemy is our foe at home, more 

certainly than through spoken words or from grief- 

twisted writing on paper, unblotted by tears 

the thought came: 

There is no physic 

for the world’s ill, nor surgery; it must 

(hot smell of tar on wet salt air) 

burn in fever forever, an incense pierced 

with arrows, whose name is Love and another name 

Rebellion (the twinge, the gulf, split seconds, 

the very raindrops, render, and instancy 

of Love). 

All Poetry to this not-to-be-looked-upon sun 

of Passion is the moon’s cupped light; all 

Politics to this moon, a moon’s reflected 

cupped light, like the moon of Rome, after 

the deep well of Grecian light sank low; 

always the enemy is the foe at home. 

But these three are friends whose arms twine 

without words; as, in still air, 

the great grove leans to wind, past and to come.

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