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Poem of the week: Hymn for Love and Work by Stanford J. Searl

“In spite of the familiar and ongoing opposition of love and work in human experience, the Greeks managed to find a reconciliation of a more lasting kind. This lay in the marriage of Hephaestus to Aphrodite herself” – Betty Mallett Smith, The Greek Dialogues: Explorations in Myth By Stanford J. Searl Dead now forty years,

Diana never walked or talked and couldn’t feed herself,

didn’t care about eating,

had multiple seizures, remained fragile

and appeared as if a six-month old infant even at seven years old.

To love Diana felt like a unity of love and work,

plunging beneath the waves of time and space,

diving again and again

like those nesting ospreys in the midst of salt-water creeks,

fierce and insistent as parents, ossifragus – bone-breakers,

flying out to hunt for fish,

now arriving at the nest with outstretched wings,

coming into the wind, over and over

shrieking their urgency to feed their nestlings,

programmed to love and work together,

whirling and diving into the salt water over and again

to feed their fledglings in the nest. Contributor’s Note: STANFORD J. SEARL, a professor of English at SUNY Buffalo State from 1969 to 1979, will join his former colleague David Lampe in a reading at 7 p.m. Monday at Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St. He now lives in Culver City, Calif., and teaches at Union Institute and University Graduate College. His most recent collections of poems are “Quaker Poems: The Heart Opened” (2014) and “Homage to the Lady with the Dirty Feet and other Vermont Poems” (2016) available from Foothills Publishing.