Magazine | December 20, 2010, Issue



They told me, “We’re quite busy here.”

I told him, “Stay away from me.”

I lay awake. I watched the wind

Unwind the branches of a tree.

I passed exams, unpacked and packed,

Ordered and cancelled. Time went by

Like a foreign-language broadcast. Then

I saw a river in the sky.

Clear as the air but bright as ice,

It let the sun through to the wheat.

It rippled like a flare of song.

It pounded like a runner’s feet.

Down here, a form rocked in the surf.

A sidewalk stain was dirty red.

I saw the miracle reversed,

And what had been alive was dead.

And yet the flood of light above

Only swelled stronger, like a storm

Of joy, a conquest of delight,

A dream there was no waking from.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

The Whip Dude

Washington, D.C. — On Election Night, as dusk settled upon the city, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, as ever, was relaxed. His thick salt-and-pepper hair was brushed back; the sleeves of his ...


Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A New Paul Revere

After observing a Fourth of July celebration in Yellowstone National Park in 1889, a young (and benignly amused) Rudyard Kipling wrote that he was “amazed” at how proud Americans were ...
Politics & Policy

Broken Dreams

Sixteen years after the end of apartheid and just months after successfully hosting Africa’s first-ever World Cup, how is the “Rainbow Nation” really faring? As South African historian and journalist ...
The Straggler

Hats Checked

The other day I stepped into an elevator while wearing a hat. Seeing ladies in the elevator, I removed my hat. One of the ladies, who was of a certain ...


Politics & Policy


One Grain at a Time Ronald Radosh’s review of Stanley Kurtz’s Radical-in-Chief (“The Obama Vision,” November 15), particularly his description of the incrementalist tactics of stealth socialists such as André Gorz, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The entrant from Alaska was poorly qualified and awkward, she kept taking wrong steps, and the experts gave her low marks, yet she attracted plenty of votes because of ...
Politics & Policy


AFTER READING THE JOURNALS OF GEORGE FOX They told me, “We’re quite busy here.” I told him, “Stay away from me.” I lay awake. I watched the wind Unwind the branches of a tree. I ...

Trust but Terrify

As a lucky guest on the recent NR cruise, I had two options for keeping up on events: pay for Internet, which at sea often seems to be handed down ...

Most Popular

White House

Why Tillerson Had to Go

Of all the abrupt comings and goings in this administration, the dismissal of Rex Tillerson is undoubtedly the most important — maybe one of the most important firings since Harry Truman fired Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War. By dismissing MacArthur, Truman drew a firm line between military and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Hillary’s Other America

I am still chuckling at Hillary Clinton’s speech in India. Among the things she said: If you look at the map of the United States, there is all that red in the middle, places where Trump won. What that map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that own two thirds of America’s Gross Domestic product. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Samantha Power Regrets

‘I’ve had a lot of bad ideas in my life,” former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power tells Politico. “Though none as immortalized as that one.” Wow. It’s a major concession. And what might “that one” be? Not standing idly by in the White House while Iranians protested a fixed election in 2009, then ... Read More