A Natural History of Destruction

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


Best not to pronounce to a thing
its end, until the subtle end
is so current as to be read
easily in the cirrus and high

cumulus of the dull cloud-banks
spelled in mile high text out along
the north sea. Where it says – the end.
Like the end of an early film

perhaps with a full orchestral
fanfare and winged horses, what not.
Then it’s probably okay to
call it. Though we can just click

watch again. Let’s start it over
right now. A big bang, transformations,
and stellar forces spinning like
a universal whirligig

and then things happen and so on.
Really not much changes as things
grow more spread out until one thing
is quite the same as the other!

And beginnings are just as odd.
So, I let a few days go by, till
I thought their tears must be dried;
and then I set off for Pisa.