Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Great Gig in the Sky

Cold Pastoral Passing

Bright morning star blown bright on blue,
upended egg in vernal sky,
cool light, first star that I see tonight, fair

augerer of old--portentous,
beauteous morn, borne along the grey
berth of river down below, the clear night

fading, passing. And I walk on
through that momentous start of day
toward the allotted hour of industry.

Ticking tiers of morning promise
still star-romantic in my mind
as I unlatch the office door wishing

on that last fiery light I'd spied.
The day's bustle of arrival
distracts me but a little. I watch through

a window to the world outside,
great river of the cliffs, and blue

. . . cleaved
. . . . . . . . by some
. . . . . . . . . . . sudden

Nature sheared and thrust aside, keels
to mortal jet-streams of collapse,
portal to the wind, fiery fuselage

unleashed in one great upsurging ball,
ungirdling flash of upswirled black
and rising storm, incubating suns

sear the flesh, hot drizzle, smoke whorls
and chokes my eyes so I am blind
and only feel a hand reach out to mine.

Whatever madness comandeered
the wind, another life survived
this cold pastoral passing, fingers locked

in mine, small hope abreast in ruin,
so now we move, in tandem crawl,
from planes of unforseen apocalypse

to what feels like the cool expanse
of space where once there was a wall--
a ledge now fringed with wire and bent barbed iron

at which we take a stand until
our joined bodies apprehend
each churning universal law at play,

the governances of the spheres
that build behind and open out
before so that we need one knowing look,

no more, to write our destinies,
and then we thrust, still bound, to fly
and not to flee, our one last volition

where below the once idyllic
river now runs slick and people
swarm like windblown poppies, like blackbirds

taking wing, rolling in a turn,
they spin and dock as not to burn
while we fall, hand in hand, we two silk-worms,

friends fused, linked thinly by a strand,
hurled about like autumn leaves, gone
like Icarus, unnoticed, from the world.

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