Thursday, November 7, 2019

Winter Triangle

What is not there, and what is
There no longer, and what is
Not there yet, the triangle,

The sharp one, of not being,
The harbinger of nothing,
The sunk relief of the past

In memory, the present
Only imagination,
The future’s own intaglio

Carved by anticipation—
Those shadow tenses
The goddess personifies,

Her asterism conjures—
Not the past, but memory
Of what used to be the past—

Not the past becoming past,
But the re-imagining
Of memories, rearranged—

Not future, nonexistent
To begin with, the only
Nonexistence, drawing us

And everything to nothing,
But the future’s negation,
That yet of unknown 

Origin, not the nothing,
But sharp anticipation,
Sense’s keenest invention,

That the never is coming
Cloaked in the robes of the next,
That the next, the forever

Not yet, will rescue us yet,
Psychopomp, guide of the soul
To where nothing can arrive:

Of those three tenses,
The mind’s tenses of not-time,
Night time’s mirroring lenses,

Not there, not yet, no longer,
Is she really the brightest
Or the dimmest of the three? 

This body has been bemused
By stories of her consort
Who is sometimes a hunter,

Sometimes a spider mother
Dragging a galactic sac
Of spiderling stars,

Often a knight or storm god
Battling the dragon,
Sometimes the monster’s ally.

This body has not noticed
Often enough what is not
Present nor past nor future.

Triangle goddess of naught,
Of New Years on the old Nile,
Who was also a river

In the red bird of China,
Priestess, pillar, and blossom
In Polynesia, 

Wolves in Macedonia,
A duck in the Amazon,
A food thief in the Arctic,

So fat he fell through the ice,
And many other stories
About a few dots of light,

Too many stories to tell,
Stories that are no longer,
Stories that are not yet there,

There’s no need for this address.
The tenses of what is not
Are not what is not, not yet.

A glimpse of your stars
As we spin away from ours
Once a night is all we get.

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