Monday, August 13, 2007

On etsy, there are people posting poems.

Not clean light, after all: not sweet atomic
absolution of our myriad sins
in one swift Lenten smear of ash, faint thumbprint
shadow on a shattered concrete sky.

The silence we were promised after sirens
above a blasted blameless graveyard world
is broken daily into shards of shrapnel
both trivial & lethal, ever-cresting
tide eroding eyes & ears & minds.

In place of Oppenheimer's Trinity,
the passionate intensity of vermin
beset by ancient plagues goes seeping out
along a web of unsuspected faults
until some tower tumbles, lightning-struck
past metaphor or merest understanding.

Surely whatever falconer we trusted
to gyre that final bird into a night
both mutual & assured is lost -- or missing
behind these lines redrawn to locate center
& formulate the new survivor's question:
not what rough beast, but which rough beast this time?

-- Ann K. Schwader

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