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Now looking back I satNow looking back, I sat too close that day.
The speaker droned and I pretended, still
And straight, to listen to the things they say
On graduation days, ideas which fill
Us with a false and youthful hope of change.
I wasn't fooled. Instead I sat too close
And leaned against your arm, transformed the strange
To something so familiar, till you chose
To lean into my arm. The speaker stopped
(I think by now he must be dead). Ideas
Like his come round again when hope, now cropped
To half its size, goes looking for new ears.
I should have listened, changed the world some way.
Instead, I leaned and sat too close that day.
I am so self-assuredI am so self-assured, I never need
A word of praise. I am so confident,
I never doubt, I know that I'll succeed;
So suave, you never say I'm diffident.
I go for days without encouragement,
For years without a single nod or smile.
I carry purpose deep within, augment
My morals with my craft. No lies, no guile,
I'm practically Sir Lancelot. I press
My cause with forward motion, never glance
At past mistakes. If what it takes were less
Not moreyou know I always add, enhance.
But someday soon I might exhale. Don't look.
You shouldn't see a life repealed, forsook.
So many things will runSo many things will run their course despite
Your protestations. I will always love
This house! But soon I saw you sold it right
Before the market crashed and prices dove.
Last week I helped you clean your closet out.
I tried to understand the key to style.
Inevitably, new will come and rout
The old, so toss that tie into the pile.
Admit: these trends apply to lovers, too.
We say we look for classics, but we lie.
Improvements come from trying out the new.
We only stop the changing when we die.
But look at lucky me: to think you bend
The rules and deign to keep and call me friend.
In astrophysics matters, deathIn astrophysics matters, death creates
A newer thing that may exceed the last.
See how a star must fall apart (it bakes,
Too hot) to make a planet from its past.
There never was one thing organic till
A giant furnace melted down and glued
Together atoms small, against their will.
Then carbon, iron, oxygen were spewed.
But now I fear you may conclude to die
Is nobler than to live, that building blocks
Emerge from minor sacrifice. Defy
This logic, you are not a star that mocks.
In astrophysics matters, don't be fooled.
We are much more than that by which we're ruled.
The love affairThe love affair between infinity
And some large part of human finite minds
Creates an oscillation, enmity
And fascination, first repels, then binds.
The case in point: I do not wish to know
The sun will change, become a giant red,
Heat up, expand, then swallow earth and glow.
Of course, we'll never see (for we'll be dead.)
And then it changes more, becomes a black
And lifeless mass, so dense, so dark, so cold.
And now they say this static point, all lack,
Will stay just so, no change as it grows old.
I turn away from time and distance great.
I dare not tell my precious sun its fate.
I was afraid when you saidI was afraid when you said let's go see
The ruined house, at twilight, down the lane.
The passing glory has a special lee
Where wind is faint and weeds grow tall like cane.
The window glass is gone and moss grows high
Upon the roof. Some shutters shut but some
Are ripped away to make it easy: spy
The simple proof, decay is king, he's come.
I meditate on something unsustained
A flower, a house, a life, a universe.
The plans to order, crystal-like, obtain
In growth, complex. Destruction's always terse.
I was afraid but now I'm sad. Let's go.
The past is gone, there's nothing we can do.
As far as I can see, the rainAs far as I can see, the rain will come,
but not before I measure every cloud
and estimate the largest ones, while some
retreat from view. The thunder starts, not loud.
As far as I can see, the dark will fall,
But not until I watch the sea, each wave
That rolls pretends to come ashore. I call
Their bluff and see that motion's what they have.
As far as I can tell, the day will end
Quite soon, but not without the grassy marsh
Retrieving all the birds that daily fend
For food and nest and young. Does life seem harsh?
The clouds, waves, birds, from what I see, survive
Past rain, dark, night, and so do I, to live.
At first I thought that heAt first I thought that he was angry, just
Like you and me, and oh a billion more.
The staring eyes, the square, tough chin, he thrust
It forward, looked right past, the cheeky bore.
But then I saw he had no language which
Could tell the thoughts inside his blocky head.
He couldn't shout above the din to switch
The looks from them to him, from power to bread.
The vacant look was fear, fatigue, remorse.
How can you ask he be a statesman just
To get his daily bread? The great divorce
Between what is and should destroyed his trust.
He holds his jaw like that to keep his eyes
From streaming tears you will not wipe. No cries.
So sorry that you had to goSo sorry that you had to go away,
I know it was a trip you didn't plan.
But things came up and obligation's sway
Is what determines what we can't and can.
And when I said good-bye and shut the door,
It came to me: the freedom that I have
Tonight to eat the things I like, ignore
The stuff I usually eat for you (I'll save).
No protein, chops or beefy things, no dog
Or bratwurst, nothing hammy, no pot roast.
Instead there will be girlie things, the hog
In me preferring all things carb. A toast
To pancakes, waffles, toast and cereal,
And pasta, pasta, pasta, most of all!
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