April 12, 2008

Poem for April 9, 2008 – Not Here, Not Now

Not Here, Not Now

The cardinal plain behind the budding
lilac, the oak still sparse of leaf; spring seems
slow and tired this year. The world is spinning
down. A black hole waits for each of us.
We know this, we know the stories we tell
to calm our fears are fictions. Heaven, Hell–
no one lives there. Hell, no one lives here!
Who has the courage to stand
in his own skin, in his right mind?
A bird’s call is clear, it says
“C’mon, sweetie!” or “This tree
is mine!” Our words all say,
“I’m not here, I never was,
nothing is happening to me.”
–Carl Bettis

This is the third ending I’ve written to this poem, and I still don’t like it. Maybe it goes wrong with the second sentence — certainly by the 8th line.


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