Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Hmm. Nunc stans facit tempus;
Nunc fluens facit nihil.

So easy to play with words,
So difficult to make them

Stay put, slippery beings,
And yet, more stable than us,

Passing through our lives like worms
Greedily tunneling soil,

Infesting dirt, eating dirt,
Making dirt, enriching dirt.

How our gardens would suffer,
And our fishing, without them.

Watching them doing their job,
Composting my waste as earth,

I scoop up wriggling handfuls,
Thinking of brains they’ve wormed through—

All the ghosts created them,
All the ghosts they’ve created.

Boethius, Xin Qiji,
Unaware of each other,

Ever, or each other’s words,
Can jostle in the same poem,

As waste more or less transformed
Into next spring’s rich, black loam.

Pity words don’t seem to know
All the gardens they’ve helped grow,

The phosphorescence they’ve brought,
Ghosts from our animal thoughts.

Don’t regret ghosts lost to view—
Regret their ghosts can’t see you.

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