The fat grey millipede,
also new to these parts,
is not as proudly poisonous
as the bantam spider with a kind of gang-tag.
They are on their way elsewhere, north.
I make notes.
Knowledge is knowledge, even without use.
Sometimes I dream them
swarming over the slagheaps, like all lower phyla
homogeneous hunger-fear,
which together look like purpose;
in the dream I can only look away.
Today I must go to the village,
trade cans for, say, kale. There as always
I risk encountering the last transcendence,
which is anger in excess of any cause
(such as me), tapping into itself,
the last great source of energy and joy.
But perhaps I’ll return home
with wounds and a potato;
perhaps home will still be here.
Things, after all, are looking up:
their gracious vengeful god reconstitutes.
Soon his anointed will return
to enjoy himself, feed them his leavings and
their history, another cycle of nature.

 

 

FREDERICK POLLACK is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness (Story Line Press), and two collections, A Poverty of Words (Prolific Press, 2015) and Landscape With Mutant (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018). Many other poems in print and online journals. Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University, Washington, DC.