Prologue of the Last Things

Albrecht Duerer, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse 1497-98

[A poem I wrote in 1991, perhaps appropriate to the 2011 vibe at the moment. The poem is available in my latest chapbook On the Innocence of Clouds (Picaro Press Wagtail Series No. 104, 2011, cf. Picaro Press on the Blogroll)]

Prologue of the Last Things

for an Unwritten Play yet to be performed by the People

we who sit here
with a modest sense of well-deserved comfort
and complacency look out upon a world
unravelling at the quick and feel bewildered
perhaps that it should be us, us for goodness sake,
who now seem called upon to understand
and what’s more act in such a way
as yet no generation has as the sky collapses
and a bright bird dies for ever in the Amazon

total understanding now seems called for
as fish fall from the skies and smoke rises
from rivers while The Factory still minces its meat
day in day out and pays for permission to kill

such understanding was once reserved for saints

now even breakfast has become philosophical
necessitating an interest in chemistry, agribiz,
unjust world trade patterns, each mouthful
linking to others, distant places, distant times

we watch and read and go about our affairs,
redecorate our rooms and have affairs
and friends over as always and yet the knowledge
is there the background hum, daily tasks pursued
and a new tension added to the swarming rest

inner hatches have been battened down
captains maintaining telegenic smiles
even as the very helms dissolve and the lifeboats
have long been burned in glorious amusement

this state we are in
bears no resemblance
to any previously recorded

we know and yet we don’t

we cannot imagine the real as the real grows more imaginary
so sensuously abstract that we need machines to tell us
what is the case and what it is we really feel

if what follows should seem far-fetched,
we ask your patience

we seem like you to sometimes lose a sense of centre
from which to watch the turning rim spin round
its wheel of daily days in unperturbed detachment
for we are of this time and share its bent
as it dies into the next though whether that birth
be of living things and breath and life and greenness
or else of monsters as yet unknown emerging
from what we all now deny…these are matters
we shall soon explore, these Last Things
that shape and break our waking dreams
in this our fitful hour


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on March 30, 2011.

One Response to “Prologue of the Last Things”

  1. Nice Post,keep doing the good job

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