You know what to do, in lastness
you feel the god of steel growing
you pray that all will fall away
as hesitation corrupts us
Our time is lived but once, and yet
that doesn’t seem to move us much
But what can we expect from voices
peeling the skin of older gods
The courts of law arranged behind
the gate, behind the projector
screen, where the greyscale mouse dances
and buried viking chess sets crack
A hedonism ramifies –
you don’t know that you’re born, they say
Response: You don’t know that you’re dead –
building great towers in the west
exactly like giant gravestones
and in memoriam to what?
Allow us talk, sir. Allow us
our fortresses in the dark air
Something is dead and its absence
thickens through non-acknowledgement
The engines of capital burn
as particles plot against us
Above the black wool of the clouds
zoom out. Towards the star’s viewpoint
and see, the landscape draped in blue.
A few blankets to help it chill.
That weight of the atmosphere helps
the city to relax. That sift
of wind down the blocked up chimney,
over the rooves’ angles and plains.
The heavy sift of planet size
shifts in the air’s fabric and tress,
the definitional smoothing,
the abstract results of great mass.
The whole hill that house is built on
rests on a plug of congealed land
in the throat of a giant. How
easy it is to see that now…
Whose teeth ring it like oak and ash
trees in the shifting darknesses.
If I were down there I would fret
the whole thing could be swallowed up
with the slightest movement. How quaint.
The giant has been dead for years.
I would worry about that other
threat, the one creeping behind stars
In the beginning, something was destroyed
at least it seems that way
and something else rose outwards.
Sky-sized waves follow the instant
an ocean meteor impacts, and ricochet –
the planet at great speed becomes
Something Else – because all ends
are also beginnings, no law is more
certain. What more do things have to say
about destruction – all else is lists
of the long fall of the satellite from orbit
and the short cracks as the overhang weakens
the instant a fish first knows the harsh net.
In my end is my beginning
Is false because the I must end
For something else to begin – materials
work upon themselves some magic
which brings others to the house party
where green glass contains rotten liquids!
Our whole civilisation is a harvest
of destruction, even in its peace, when
blackbirds sing the lay of the worm’s
redescription in branches in the sun.
And nature also, this vast restructuring
where some shapes lose what others
gain – a magpie flies as the sun dips
its smooth light onto the striated oak
and on and again until the end of this
and the beginning of something else
and we can’t often tell the difference