The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday and Saint Sarah

Ghazal: The Dark Times
By Marilyn Hacker

Tell us that line again, the thing about the dark times...
"When the dark times come, we will sing about the dark times."

They'll always be wrong about peace when they're wrong about justice...
Were you wrong, were you right, insisting about the dark times?

The traditional fears, the habitual tropes of exclusion
Like ominous menhirs, close into their ring about the dark times.

Naysayers in sequins or tweeds, libertine or ascetic
Find a sensual frisson in what they'd call bling about the dark times.

Some of the young can project themselves into a Marshall Plan future
Where they laugh and link arms, reminiscing about the dark times.

From every spot-lit glitz tower with armed guards around it
Some huckster pronounces his fiats, self-sacralized king, about the dark times.

In a tent, in a queue, near barbed wire, in a shipping container,
Please remember ya akhy, we too know something about the dark times.

Sindbad's roc, or Ganymede's eagle, some bird of rapacious ill omen
From bleak skies descends, and wraps an enveloping wing about the dark times.

You come home from your meeting, your clinic, make coffee and look in the mirror
And ask yourself once more what you did to bring about the dark times.


That was yesterday's poem-a-day at

I had a fun, busy Friday that started with snow on the early-blooming flowers in the neighborhood! Maddy had to work early, though Alice had some things to drop off for her and arrived with Avery after Maddy had already left, while Daniel was at lunch with my father. So Alice, Avery, Paul, and I went to the mall to see Maddy, catch Pokemon, and pick up Cava, which we then ate at home so we could hang out with Daniel while he worked long distance. I did lots of work on my France photo book after Alice left. My parents came for dinner, after which we watched The Man from UNCLE movie with Daniel since he hadn't seen it.

Here are some photos from the Church of Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer of Saint Sarah, patron of the Roma, in whose honor there is a festival each year in May to celebrate Romani and other nomadic peoples of the world. Saint Sarah, who is always portrayed as dark-skinned, is sometimes characterized as an Egyptian servant who accompanied Mary Magdalene and the other Marys to France or alternatively as a local woman from the Camargue who welcomed the Marys and converted after witnessing their miracles, though since she is also known as Sara-la-Kali, she may related to the Hindu Kali and have origins in India.


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