Reunion

After hours of fitful turning,
Georgie fell to sleeping,
The rasping cough too strenuous
The light too ambiguous,
His eyelids too large to will open

In his dream,
All that ever was and all that shall be
Converged on him, and he saw the limitless
And held it close to his heart

He saw the child’s Christmas, one with
Rubble-strewn streets and bomb-laced
Windows, the spanking cry of new-born
Wrinkled joy, one with tear-washed dead lips
Of a life, spent and discarded, brushed aside

He saw the stars, new and old, explode eternally,
Worlds awash with life and others bereft of it
And tiny, forlorn pulses in ancient crevices,
Which would have been long forgotten
Had anyone ever known of them.

He could see them all, and all seemed dear,
The sublime and the petty,
The ecstasy and the torment,
Down to the final finalness, indistinguishable
From the beginning

Even down to the last corner of the vastness,
Down to the last lonely planet
Where Georgie lay on the gurney,
The sheet pulled over his unblinking face.

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.

Self portrait

A man stands by a roadside,
the sky the shape of an onion,
one layer of cloud after another,
the point of coincidence
with the earth
too pale to define, and
the very idea of definition
is hazy, suspect.

The road … is there,
that’s all that can be said of it
with any assurance.
It is neither appealing
nor repulsive, there are no signs
telling of its ends
in either direction, there is little
to recommend it.

This man can be anyone — you,
your father, someone you knew
long ago but have forgotten,
a pope, a salesman, an original
thinker, a fraud, maybe
all of those at once.

What distinguishes him
is this time, this place,
the relentless now
and the slowly setting sun.

The big Was

First, the big Was, expanding suddenly
Too quick to glow, too far to measure
Like blood coagulates, in lumps, relentless

Blind recognition yearning to recombine
Into the breadth-less infinite, one by one,
Across the fleeing everness

It was the lumps, after all, without them
Nothing is born, nothing dies
The lumps, flailing, contact and contract

Lend each other mass and meaning
Become vast in becoming spent
In the large and slow entropic resistance

Fragments of causation forgoing randomness
Blinding recapitulation, a first worm wriggles
Your father, my son, your mother, too

Born in that salty swilling dawn
Descending on down time’s narrow tunnel
Until all that’s left is dawn