People, Be Good

was Ruskin's first sermon.
Carlyle preached silence
In forty volumes.

Libraries creak and groan,
The beds where monsters
Are bred. This is the
Bela Bartok Memorial Shopping Center

And this is a whole tongue
Brown and green from the
Dirt and grass it licked and ate.

And here's a sheep's head.
Baa. And there, the Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart Barbershop.

People, be good.
Just you try it.
How would you begin?

from Laughing (1970)

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