Tag Archives: emptiness

Eschatology

Eschatology

 

The end of the stem
is where a flower starts. At the end

of a ragged leaf a sated bug steps.
The end of the trunk is where the tree

plunges past seeing and the roots’ ends
commence the purest conversion.

The river turns out on the ocean,
the sky turns over the bowl of stars

with no end to the spilling space.

Seen in an Almost Empty Elementary School Parking Lot One November Afternoon at Four-Thirty

Seen in an Almost Empty Elementary School Parking Lot One November Afternoon at Four-Thirty

 

Through the honest tree limbs a hundred vultures float
like a cloud of gnats. No like the floating ashes of burning leaves.

No as they get closer I see they are stitching something
into the air, shape of a common hunger borne aloft

and visible only through this inscribing of individual
wills in contrast and in wind, swirling like the last

sip of wine in a glass, up, down, settle, rinsed away,
all just a matter of perception of a form against

its temporary constraint, not ever really part of your
moment when it continues on, or ceases holding

your own thought against the edges of your world
as if the world was something to hold your drink

or your memories, or even your body in its form
perceived from two hundred feet up and a quarter

of a mile away as something too big to land on and eat.

Sunday Service, Small Town in Virginia, Late September, on the Occurrence of Emptiness

Sunday Service, Small Town in Virginia, Late September, on the Occurrence of Emptiness

No traffic. A leaf clatters like a steed with an urgent message
then gives in to a burlesque swirl and stills itself out

of momentum. A yellow moth staggers on uneven air across the empty street.
I can walk down the middle of the road past lonely double-parked cars.

Not a soul is about. The churches are filled up with their giant doors shut
like a present I will not unwrap. The entire town is my empty prayer.

I can appreciate every curb’s lift, every curve of crumbling brick
arch on old buildings, window-shop for emptiness and find it

everywhere. Even the crow’s shadow barely skims the earth.
And a thousand yellow leaves do the moth better than the moth did.

Cool Morning, On the Road to Work, and Later

Cool Morning, On the Road to Work, and Later

 

Sparrows huddle under the car’s warm frame.
As I come back with my coffee they flow out

between the tires like a sound. Gray clouds nest
on the ridgeline. Driving into this image of sullenness

lightens me—as I pass through the opaque menace thins
to harmless mist. On the road home the light rain

drones outside the window like a distant train.
From my porch my daughter and I watch bats

sweep away the dusk. Pockets of light appear,
tuck into lamps for a few hours, then go out.

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written

Note: another of a series of poems with the same title, to be scattered throughout a larger project called The Drift.
 

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written

Now we enter the season of our age
before summer’s end yellow leaves drift

haze floats between us and the foothills
still the sun is strong the rain when it comes

like the same words over and over
is not yet cold and when I look

between birds and hills I see the past
and am reminded of the future