Minnows Keeping Time, a Poem by Mick Albright, 2016

You are nothing.
No thing.
Just a number.
On a calendar.
Some silly system invented by
A Pagan, somewhere,
In a long robe
Leaning against a dark massive
Stone on “Celtic Hill”—a mossy
Drumlin—wondering why the
Sun, so prompt, should be taking so long
This time. A human sacrifice, no doubt,
Waiting in the wings.

Maybe a million years later—
A bishop, in a Gothic cathedral,
Or, if never a Bishop deign stoop so low,
Then a monk, a quiet God-fearing one,
Ascetic little monk-scribe, hunched
Over crinkly parchment, feathers
Dripping black ink, turning
Candle light reveals a mystery
Already ancient when it began.
“Outdo that heretic pagan!”

Or it was a scientist.
Or a farmer with a philosophical bent.
Or a milkmaid, soft and spent.
Sweet, foolish little existential
Milkmaid. I’m sure you labored
Over the shortened, silvered days,
Wooly nights, pooling
The oily-gray
Water of your disillusionment
With being; heartache with
Waiting; obsession with
Knowing; your dismay with all those
Udders!—into a small, round pool;
Like children frolic in
On summer days—Caribbean
Blue plastic, spotted along the bottom
With little green fish—
Shimmering and taunting
As minnows—darting about
Like wonder; or dreams,
An inkling—
What “should be” is not—
What “could be”, hard-sought—
What “might have been”, been
Were all this
Such a lot
Of rot.

Fetch me nothing.
Like Time.
Like Wisdom.
Like God.

Like Words.

Like Love.
Like Nada.

(C) 2016 by Mick Albright


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