Along with the cold spell in San Francisco has come bad news from everywhere, it seems. This morning I ran across a poem that impressed me back in 8th grade and has stayed with me ever since: a useful reminder that a sense of proportion can be a lever to move the world.
Interlude III by Karl Shapiro
Writing, I crushed an insect with my nail And thought nothing at all. A bit of wing Caught my eye then, a gossamer so frail And exquisite, I saw in it a thing That scorned the grossness of the thing I wrote. It hung upon my finger like a sting. A leg I noticed next, fine as a mote, 'And on this frail eyelash he walked,' I said, 'And climbed and walked like any mountain goat.' And in this mood I sought the little head, But it was lost: then in my heart a fear Cried out, 'A life—why beautiful, why dead!' It was a mite that held itself most dear, So small I could have drowned it with a tear.