Uncentered

If we knew that gravity-trapping fissure from which the cosmos spread,
Propelling itself into the dust and novae through which we whirl and tumble,
We could measure our angle against a fixed vector at each moment,
And sense our resonance with eyes closed upon
The background vibration of the universe.

If we could identify the intersection of all the diameters of the Earth,
A fulcrum for our misshapen spheroid,
We could stop the sloshing of the metal viscous interior
That rips our precious veneer of shingles and lattices,
The tsunamis that drown our finest dreams.

The bad man’s funeral revolved around his noble intents,
Extolled his love for the soil and nature’s purity and blah-blah.
Dark violence glinted through affectionate references to
Prickly moments, a thorn in one’s side, a gruff demeanor that turned compassionate if one could be patient.
But his gift seemed all the richer for pain.

He served on boards and launched projects,
Staked out the center of every civic initiative,
Championed forests, watersheds, country lanes, and all that was not human.

I bowed my head with the rest to the loss of this community member,
Then took the afternoon to wallow in all that he hated,
The glassy highway that sped me to a superstore where consumer longings
Could be expeditiously satisfied with goods built by cheap foreigners.
Was there balance?

If we could isolate the quark that distinguishes proton from neutron,
And hold the unique identity of each atom in our hand,
We could call each play of dancing electrons
And weigh the mass of dust, beast, and man
In this circulating tumble of indications and tangents, our constant orientation.

Andy Oram
April 26, 2011

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