Cruising Toward the Maw of Darwin

What a wonder of imagination, that
having discovered that we can’t control what is—

the tides, the weather, the migration of wildebeest,
the behavior of our children or the clan in the next forest,

the gravitational pull among planets, stars,
photons and quarks,

the vatic fecklessness of poets —

we turn to a faith in our power to control
what we know to be ephemeral

or even a concatenation of toxic, suicidal lies: canticles
from the Gospel of Goebbels or the Tweet of Trump.

The American Cen
otaph, at 3/4 Century

or, shall we have dates, cradle to grave?
Donald Hall’s for example: A.C. = 1945-1963,

perhaps from 2 September 1945 to—
Where were we on 23 November 1963?

or perhaps more to the point of folly,
earlier, 2 January of that year—
Battle of Ap Bac, Viet Nam, all in brief

sanctification: the rise and rise
of UnitedStatesian internal assassinations
and adopted multinational atrocities:

BOMBS—the BIG one (two).
Bullets, bombs, billets.
Bombs: napalm. Cambodia.
Agent Orange all ’round.

Treaties. Standards. Walls.
Documents saved, documents burned.
Deaths; U.S., mourned, monumentalized—
Hallowed: Adeste Fidelis.

Deaths; Vietnamese, Cambodian, unknown,
divided here, multiplied there, forgotten:
reasons and causes CONFIDENTIAL (!!!)

Containment: Richard Nixon :: Walls : Potus Bloviatus . . .
The emperor’s sputter of suppressed supplication:
“Quintili Vare, legiones redde!” Numquam.

Now what we know,
NO! feel, caress, slap into noise—
about art, music, architecture, sculpture,
and writers (ohmeohmy!)
and the Ocean—

the oceans, rivers, Earth, air, ionosphere,
the Firmament,
the dulled music of the spheres, the spheres
polluted: no, poisoned.
The Bird—birds? . . .

Oh! Multicelular life! blasted to netherdom,
and human sensibility to its own existence

may drop to near 0 in the foresenseable
blind future.

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.