the rotary dial

best new poetry in form

Weeds are not supposed to grow
but by degrees
some achieve a flower, although
no one sees.

From the August Issue


The Rule Is Not To Besiege a Walled City


I lived for seven months in a walled city.
I think it was Jerusalem or Troy.
The children were well fed, the women pretty –
the kind of place the world aches to destroy.
So when the enemy had staked their tents
I asked about the general unconcern.
They pointed at the strength of their defense.
The enemy, they said, will never learn.

Yes, I was with them when the food ran short.
I think it was Baghdad or Syracuse,
any battle anybody fought.
You may have seen it on the evening news.
I'd read The Art of War – I thought we'd win.
It wasn't me who let the first one in.


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