It's After The End Of The World

Its after the end of the world.
Don't you know that yet?
-- Sun Ra

The city is still littered with stopped clocks.
Water swollen calendars watch over
kitchens frozen forever in August.
The chapters run backwards: first the flood
and then the journey to the land of Nod.

We are weary of this static landscape,
ruins unrelieved by shepherds or fauns.
Our Plimsoll marks are sunk along the wharves,
the cranes standing derelict and rusted
still waiting for the ark that will not come.

Noah’s begotten, our only ark is
what we make with our own hands, taking scraps
washed up around us, fashioning the new,
with our own arms stretch out the new cubits
on the other side of time and the flood.

We reconvene on saw-dusted porches
smelling of wet paint, swirl the old cocktail
tinkling in new glasses, chilled and dripping.
We watch the rock doves building a new nest,
twigs of fragrant sweet olive in their beaks.

Here in the forever after we live
by secret clocks kept close like scapulars.
We mark new calendars from blank pages
with an old pen rescued from a high shelf,
familiar, untouched by the flood waters.

A significant revision from the first posting.

Revision 3

4 comments:

tom said...

Our only ark is what we make
with our own hands, taking scraps
washed up around us and fashioning the new,
playing the old tale inside out
on the downstream side of the flood.

I love this part, and your whole poem is an eye-opener. It's good.

Mark said...

Thank you. I've posted up a new revision. This is a working journal (except you can't see what I've stroked out and changed. I need to figure out some on-line tool that lets me do that).

WetBankGuy said...

This is now revision three, a major rework. (I need to fix that Revision 2 note). I liked Revision 2 enough to put it in a submission email, and now like an idiot I have to resend that email and say, well, I like this new one better.

Crafty Green Poet said...

this is excellent, very well written and with plenty in it to think about.