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July 4, 1999

Today's offering from Robert N. Erman
 
 

WIND AND FIRE
 

snow like sequins in the dervish hem

of a cyclone eddy appearing near

and out of the dance fall steady coins

dry leaves with the two or three side up

in groups of three

counting six seven eight or nine

line by line fall trigrams and hexagrams

sixty four patterns of the tao

elementary eloquence of the book of changes

while the turn that delivers each change still dances

carefree spirals above the road
 

we name them fates

but they are only mercenary technicians

testing the human heart to failure

in a cyclotron of hope and superstition
 

what machine is self perfecting

when a single passion alive in the heart

can keep destiny stupefied
 

searching red coals for souls disenfranchised

as clinkers mutter their brainless liturgy

and cracking open across the grain

sail dull moans toward benign heaven
 

the caul of ash that wraps these embers

is weightless as a mantle wick

the light hissing

of sap evicted from the flame

sounds the steam drive flywheel gyre of the fire

and the calliope cry of ancient carbon

still krebbs cycle deep in eternity

is sunlight finally deconstructing

life breaking out of the ash as light
 

i wait for the dark man to be consumed

still terrified that he actually may

once his muttering ceases

and he no more rehearses his mummy's curses

he will crack like a chrysalis and fall away weightless

a mask with no new light behind the eyes

but in his groaning guts a brand new candle

waxes and wanes with each phase of the moon

and if lost to the fire still quickens desire to fits of shape

he is only a monster for being undone
 

Copyright 03/99 Robert N. Erman
 
 

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