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Showing posts from October, 2006

The Bright Empty

I see the silver bay blinking
Under the influence of tall buildings,
Tossing out window light
Like the banter of well-meaning women.
They say their good-nights
With reassurances of constancy.
More light: fire in flight;
Fireflies filching firelight
In the heart of man.
I remember when the night was dark.
There were places you could walk to,
And once there, you could be anywhere.
Nothing grounded you, oriented you
To houses or highways.
Even the trees gave up their shapes
To the persuasion of night.
To find one, you had to feel the bark,
Like calloused flesh, and look up.
The tree was a hole in the web of stars,
The only light on moonless nights.
That was a thousand miles from here,
Or maybe more;
A thousand years ago
Or a little less.


I can't imagine anyone caring
what I think about,
what is last to leave my mind
when I sleep.
I'm just getting old.
No one is older
than the ancient dead.
Think of all they knew,
without caring to learn.
They knew the truth
of the worlds.
They knew the oneness of it all,
before we living built
our delusions
and forced ourselves
to live in them.
When the living young
are roaring in my brain,
I am thankful
for the quiet inanimate.
A dilapidated building
looms by the road,
no windows or paint,
the ceilings sagging.
The sky helps it
to be beautiful.
There is always
a broader view.