Wednesday Poem

The History of Everything

First light and first pee arrive together. Lingering
last dream. Find paper. Find pen. Drat. Find one
that writes. Hesiod said first there was Chaos.
Well, at least that’s something. We say, first
there was not even nothing. Then the Big Bang.

Well, Not with a Bang. There was
not even nothing before there was
everything. whateverwillbe arrived
all at once in a great chord, all the notes,
and all the almost-notes between.

our new sun shone out of itself in all
directions its light set forth bravely
into immense darkness our earth
caught such a small part – yet
it is the manna on which we live

Space-time curves. Beyond, nothing,
or maybe the not-nothing. How far’s
the edge? Far enough. How far’s the edge
of your edge? Far enough? What’s there?
a desolation? a forest? the sea? a heaven?

language is
the straw we use
to make bricks
out of the clay
of the world

Rain steady on the roof.  Far shore lost.  Sea quiet,
gray, introspective – like me, I think, entering
from stage left. This is what we’ve made language for,
to enter the world’s drama as player, not just reflex
towards food or away from the saber-tooth.

by Nils Peterson
from All the Marvelous Stuff
—a new book, available soon