Russell Shorto

I Swallow This Every Day

Remember we saw that tiger at the zoo? It peed on someone.
Dear Jesus: Here's the oil. Anoint yourself and let's move on.

The Irish cliffs are so very green and high above wracking
brooding surf, waves cudgeling rocks and rocks

pretending there's a thing called eternity and they are swimming
in its rime-foam, honestly thinking themselves capable

of frolicky cavort, flip-weather, sun-bacon, screel
to thorning heaven ceruleoid and pocked with twinks

of white seeming to offer windows onto vaster eternities:
heaven's heaven, and beyond: heaven's heavens' heavens.


About the Author

  I was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I have three children (Anna, Eva and Anthony) and three step-children (Reinier, Hector and Benjamin).  I write books of narrative history; I believe history is most meaningful to us when it manifests itself through individuals in conflict. My books have been published in fourteen languages and have won numerous awards.  I am senior scholar at the New Netherland Institute and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. My interests include the past, the present and the future, not necessarily in that order.  

photo by Keke Keukelaar