Meditation for the end of the world

When the last fireball comes trundling through,
earth on its list poised to be crossed off,

try to find the platitude in the boast,
or see the plodding repetition in the sunset,

or the sheer tedium of mortality,
as if fear were a mere sauce for eternity,

for the certainty that in an infinity
of worlds all will have come to pass

over and over and over,
and even that, over again.

Righting history

Another bride, another June, another sunny honeymoon
Another season, another reason for makin’ whoopee

~Cole Porter

It’s hot. The folding metal chairs
we sit on could at least make toast,
if not fry eggs.

We offer up our copious sweat
to the new, pulled into being
amidst the passing of the old.

The bride and groom trip happily
through their vows, and voila!
Two become one; the groom kisses the bride.

Later, at the Cutting of the Cake,
the inexhaustible cameras re-appear.
“No more kissing,” says the lip-weary bride.

He kisses her anyway, for good measure.
No one mentions dying.
We go home, fat and content.

A sailor’s epitaph.

Rest, you say, in peace,
rust away in peace!
All I ever did was rest into pieces;
I’m dead of it.

I know, I know, too late,
the clock has struck
and my mortal wisp is doomed
to eternity, slowly descending
into elemental
entropic stupor.

But even Achilles, brave Achilles,
would rather have risen and returned
as chattel than rule over
those resting in peace.

I want trouble to get out of,
love to fall into, happen to stance,
luck to stroke, good or bad,
it’s all the same to me.

If I’m doomed to rest,
let it be fitful, at least, full of
desire unquenched, fortune
unclaimed.

All these trials, these wounds,
are closer to heaven
than moldering nothing
without light or darkness,

changeless.

True death is the
timeless, the changeless,
the big zero.

The plague

Survivors of the plague, finding themselves neither destroyed nor improved, could discover no divine purpose in the pain they had suffered. ~ Barbara Tuchman

Everything falls, the old banners
Flung to pieces,
God reveals himself a jester,
Indifferent or cruel,

It makes little difference.
Popes and paupers rot
In the same slag heap,
All the rules, shattered.

Such a holy tantrum!
Such abandonment
Not seen since the days
Of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Do you pray, beseeching
God for pity,
If justice cannot be found?
Take care you don’t disturb his temper!

No pretense any longer
Of value, of one thing
Over another, your doom
Is made by a foul divine whim.