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And the Nothing That Is

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  • And the Nothing That Is

    “And the Nothing That Is”

    No clouds yet, but give men time:
    One and all run out of time,
    Including earth, which men make lean
    And tilt back to never green.

    Such a thought at the crack of dawn
    Of the final crack of dawn
    Hit me last night. The west wind blew
    So cold and raw, my words turned blue.

    But now, emerging from my lair,
    Warm and well wrapped in layer
    On layer of clothes, I’m opening
    To zero but hidden from its sting..

    I'm gray but who can grouch or go
    Long faced for long? Dawn’s halo glow,
    Peaking over snow pitched roofs,
    Lifts my vale with a light reproof.

    But at the railroad crossing, head
    Lights, having nowhere else to head,
    Flicker from the other side
    Of eighty freight cars grumbling by.

    The train long gone, the cars file by,
    But, I should think, not one I’ll buy:
    Not when carbon footprints hoe
    The road, crushing snow’s diamond glow.

    Watching all the autos climb
    The hill, I note a sign of our clime:
    Tracks in the snow, --- and from my boots
    As well! What a lift, this swift reboot.

    There they are, tailing me down the hill,
    Two broken lines so parallel
    To the furrowed road, so in sync,
    I scowl. To think, how deep I sink.

    It wakes me up though, like a puck
    Slapped past my ear, or a Mac truck
    Honking, telling me, if I don’t know,
    I’d best get up and get some go.

    4. Looking down while I cross the road,
    I find in the gray, compacted snow
    A mother lode. The telling sign
    Of man’s intelligent design?

    So many tires, so many treads:
    Zigging, zagging, like tacking sleds,
    And there, those six flat lines unscrolling:
    Do they unveil a dead man rolling?

    These hexagons look like molecules
    Of carbon. Does that link make them fuel
    Or diamonds? Ah, the shades of light,
    Figures of the Lord’s delight.


    Here I go, slogging through the snow,
    Yet unlike Breughal’s hunters home-
    Ward going, I must apprehend
    Winter icumen to a dead end.

    No Satchel Paige or Mr. D.,
    I have to look back, have to see,
    Even if it crushes me to know
    Where we were, are, and soon might go:

    “The diamonds crushed, the crystal gone,
    Who can be sparked so far from dawn?
    Dark star on the right. Here it comes.
    What can be done with hearts so numb?”

    Also sprach Ich of what’s entailed
    In black oil, our footprint’s entrail.
    Another track, though, quite unseen,
    Overtakes me like mescaline.

    Some eschew food, some chew peyote,
    Monks chant. And me? The spirit totes me.
    Ah, poor warned souls, what treads
    We leave, with each wedge on flying wedge.

    Holograms, though, have many slants:
    Beseech and find the olive branch,
    But take the ancient path, for all ways
    Today will not lead us through our daze.

    A snowbird, white on a black limb,
    Won’t go, until he sings a hymn:
    Though ice caps melt and hills are drowned,
    Though mountains also tumble down,

    There’s yet a garden, yet a rock,
    The gate, though strait,has been unlocked,
    And none there will say, ‘He loves me not,’
    For all can pick ‘ Forget me not.’”

    I hear a psalm, old 46,
    Which quickened me and kept me fixed.
    I lift my eyes. Too late I see
    A big rig bearing down on me.

    But for an orange stocking hat,
    I’m dressed, as always, all in black,
    Maybe this look of Halloween
    Helps me dodge the mean machine.

    The driver, by grace and not by luck,
    Can’t miss me except with the truck.
    Brakes and ice, a right jack knife,
    And a well-timed dive save my life.

    I thank the Lord, my God, my All::
    Break out Peace or New Madrid Fault,
    Golden Age or the End we fear ---
    Both then and now are God’s good year.


    On that day, when kingdoms quake and split,
    And blackbirds caw and magpies twit,
    ‘”What happened to the king in you?”
    Then newly sing you, “Allelu.”

    At that hour, when earth no longer spins,
    And songbirds, rid of mates to win,
    Hoot at you, “Cuckoo, cuckoo.”
    Yet duly sing you, “Allelu.”

    When that blink throws you before the throne,
    And a dove more white than white intones,
    “Get up! The King --- He’s calling you.”
    Then truly sing you, “Allelu!”