The earth needs peace more than it needs the moon,
that beauty without which the oceans lose their intellect.
Peace in bombed gardens where butterflies swoon
into the sun, living one day and dying in the shelling
of that night, where joyous rat and knife inspect
the numerous wares the dead are selling.
The earth needs peace more than it needs the moon.
Sometimes the dead lie hand in hand: six, seven, eight
after a night of minuses and endless decrease,
they do not serve, or stand or wait,
they unpeople themselves flogged in the sun.
No caesura. No rainbow. No peace.
I pity the poets who think that war will be undone
by poetry, the hate-filled world saved by music. I am one . . .
– opening lines of Pax Poetica by Stanley Moss, published on November 22 in the TLS
– image by Cass Bird