Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Falls Mainly Unexplained

Having evolved many millions of years
On land, and before that in shallow seas,

Humans, like so many others, move through
Largely horizontal existences,

Think best in bas-relief, two dimensions
Vastly extended, the third dimension

Flattened. Humans excel at walking days
And days on end, but tend to imagine

The clouds that are a day’s walk above them
Coextensive with eternal heaven.

This extends to lives, deaths, and calendars,
So that a dozen life histories fit

Neatly onstage simultaneously,
While laid end to end they vanish in mists,

Thence back to imagined eternities.
Mountains aside, it’s a planed existence.

Photographs are reminders of the tricks
Played by the eyes and minds of flatlanders,

Revealing mountains on the horizon
Not as sheer and towering but long lines

That bump in a low arc around the frame.
A human on the moon is most amazed

By the rising face of Earth hanging just
Over the cratered dust of lunar plains.

The whole solar system’s an orrery,
A tabletop disk; the galaxy, too,

Is a leveled spiral squeezed in a plane.
Maybe it’s not just a human failing.

Maybe gravity itself is to blame.
There’s an asymmetry between nothing

And everything, absence and presence, depth
And mere profusion, falling and spreading,

And while all could spread forever, nothing
Falls far before reaching nothing again.

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