Loren Eiseley

Against Cities

From Prairie Schooner

I have envied the hawk’s breast
enduring the great heaven;
all wild wings and the stubbornness of rock yielding
no foothold but to eagles.
The serenity of stars over chaos
is worthy remembrance
and the peace of an old planet
forgetting the troubled footsteps of men…

I have envied
even, at times,
the stony security of snail
locked in his narrow house.

But I have pondered and not understood
earth that endures spoiled cities
in preference to white deserts and the stars.

Reprinted from Prairie Schooner Vol IV No 4 (Fall 1930) by permission of University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1930 by the Wordsmiths of Sigma Upsilon.