by George Moore
George Moore has published poetry in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, Southern Poetry Review, Southwest Review, Chariton Review, and has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize. He was a finalist for the 2007 Richard Snyder Memorial Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, and earlier for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Poetry Award, and the Anhinga Poetry Prize. His recent collections are Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002), poems exploring the ritual practices of love and possession, and an e-Book, All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time (Pulpbits, 2007). He teaches Modern Literature and Shakespeare with the University of Colorado, Boulder.
The parched earth of the Alentejo
where the cork oak are drying, dying,
is the habitation of the pigs
who snip in their hunger every living thing.
This is their reputation,
to devour, to consume, to be greedy
from dawn to the end of time,
their minds like machines of hunger.
There once was a rule, unspoken here,
that there should be no more than three pigs
for every single tree, that acorns that fed
the beasts would not be enough.
Now with the rage for pork, with
the new hunger, everyone would feast
on the fat of the earth, on the barren land,
and the pigs are a million to one.
They leave nothing but the naked dirt
where outside their yards the grasses
are growing deeper, and oak still flourish.
And their reputation is secure.
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