Last Bubble Bursting Up


By David Soderberg 5/25/07




Poetry is the growling howling teeth

That drag me back to what I could have been--

Not the accidental meeting of possibilities.


It is the last child screaming naked

Against the radioactive holocaust

In a hellish haiku of my own devising:

The growling howling teeth rip

Beauty back to the lake shore

Of what could have been,

Of what Hitler could have been,

Of what I should have been

At dawn when the hawks

were already flying.


Poetry is the agony of the Now

Writhing within death or childbirth.

It howls at the sinking moon

of my own vast conscience.

I trot along the gravel shore attentive to

The Moonlight Sonata played so softly

Without lights at all to help my clawed

And stubby fingers grope for the

            colorless keys.


Before I can shoo myself off,

Poetry’s jaws snatch a fat fish

From wishboning nets that scintillate

Beneath the fishermen’s torches

Drawn up on this ancient pre-dawn shore—

Poetry is the last tiny bubble of significance

Bursting up above a Titanic grave

Years after the ice had melted

            into silence

And we had all rowed away.