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A 1 Poetry, Motherbird Internationale | Poem

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July 4, 1999

Today's offering from RobertN. Erman


snow like sequins in the dervishhem

of a cyclone eddy appearing near

and out of the dance fall steadycoins

dry leaves with the two or threeside 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 bookof changes

while the turn that delivers eachchange 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 theheart

can keep destiny stupefied

searching red coals for souls disenfranchised

as clinkers mutter their brainlessliturgy

and cracking open across the grain

sail dull moans toward benign heaven

the caul of ash that wraps theseembers

is weightless as a mantle wick

the light hissing

of sap evicted from the flame

sounds the steam drive flywheel gyreof 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 actuallymay

once his muttering ceases

and he no more rehearses his mummy'scurses

he will crack like a chrysalis andfall away weightless

a mask with no new light behind theeyes

but in his groaning guts a brandnew candle

waxes and wanes with each phase ofthe moon

and if lost to the fire still quickensdesire to fits of shape

he is only a monster for being undone

Copyright 03/99 Robert N. Erman

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