Tag Archives: last chance

Poem: Cantata for the End

It’s National Poetry Month, and by tradition I endeavor to write one poem every day during April. I won’t specify how many days I’ve missed, but I’ve written more poetry than usual this month. Here is an example of the kind of thing I write when I have ten thousand final projects due plus graduation in only a few weeks.

Lovely Sunset


This is it.
The curtain is falling, the fruit is molding,
the milk is curdling, the kidneys are failing.
This is the last sunset before we dive into a bomb shelter.
This is Dr. Nietzsche standing over God’s hospital bed,
looking at his watch and preparing his declaration.

All the unresolved chords are clamoring in ecstasy,
and the caps are falling on graduates like rain.

This is the last-minute cancellation of the Resurrection.
This is a black hole on its way to work.
This is Eternity hanging up the phone.

The end is near enough to kiss
but time has not accommodated
all that is still left to accomplish,
the everythings still on the shelf,
how many alltogethernows are waiting on the rim,
the countless curiosities that are yet unraveled.

There is still the Pope looking into the fridge,
there is Steinbeck sitting at a bus stop,
there is Elie Wiesel shaking his head,
there are neverminds to bury
and sleepwells to evaluate,
a whole patchwork quilt of deadline half-life.

So this is it, a cacophony of goodbyes
and the past stuffed into a sarcophagus.
This is wiping the lipstick off the collar
even with so much desire left.
This is us mapping the final frontier,
buttoning up our coats,
and walking out the door into the wind
for the last time.


Photo (La Jolla, California) generously donated by the marvelous travelers at Keene Short Photography. Poem copyrighted work of Keene Short, 2015.