Sunday, October 11, 2020




"...this is the way the world ends/not with a bang but a whimper." ~T.S.Elliot



You've come a long way

to see me slip my skin

across the star-burrowed sky

past Cassiopeia's iron chair

past the spear of Orion

to the killing floor.


You've come for the show

that must always go on

to see my hair burning trees

on my lips the black hole

night for my breath

dripping acid rain.


A big bang for your buck

now the requisite whimper

that comes in the dark

with the last surrender.

I wanted to stay just

a little bit longer


but everything wavers

when fate breaks her lamp.

October 2020

posted for 

The Sunday Muse

Images: California Wildfires From Space © NASA Scott Kelly Fair Use

Title unknown © Mathew Brohder via Internet Fair Use


  1. You have given me a whole new, real and poetic vision of the perilous earth from space Joy! So many exquisite lines!! This knocks it out of the park! When you shat out you do it grand! I love love love this!!!

  2. Fantastic. The birth of the universe through to the flat death throes of entropy in 20 spare, clean, bang and whimper lines. Who dies here: the poet? us? the world? the cosmos? Slipping your skin past the constellations is a beautiful invitation, like you are going to go skinny dipping in the stars, but then, but then, the killing floor. Amazing. Like all humanity, we never see that coming.

    Then the supra-real imagery, allusion, reality of burning trees and black holes. Acid rain for sure.

    In the "won't you stay" I hear the plaintive tones of Frankie Valli's falsetto (truesetto?).

    The end, the end, is so deeply evocative. "When fate breaks her lamp". Lordy, I know exactly what that means and fear it, yet of course that has no denotation I could explain. Brilliant.

  3. I love that "star-burrowed sky". The burning trees as hair, the black hole of the mouth are amazing images. LOVE your closing lines. "I wanted to stay just a little bit longer" breaks my heart. Poor weeping earth mother.

  4. O gosh, this breaks my heart. I despair of what has already happened to our planet due to the shortsighted greed of those who wield power. So glad we both managed to write for the Muse this week; I wasn't sure either of us would!

  5. Strong and dark hedgewitch! Powerful piece.

  6. Quite the show -"big bang for the buck" - I wonder about our earthly show it seems the director and script writers have lost their way. I worry about how the greatest show on earth will end. Whimpering defeat..sigh..

  7. Nod to T.S. Elliot is a wonderful thing ... 'when fate breaks her lamp' I will ponder the depth long and hard.

  8. This makes me want to weep; it's could hissed across a dark stage or thundered from a screen and the end would be the same--a shock of tears and the aftershock of the lines themselves.

  9. Yes, Yes! "everything wavers when fate breaks her lamp" love that line. I actually could have quoted the entire poem. There is so much I love in this poem. There are times lately I wonder if fate came to us with a broken lamp.

  10. Love “star-burrowed sky”, and the plaintive call of your last two lines.

  11. All we can do is write the whore's lament and echo the waver. Well done and best. - Brendan

  12. I've been away from poetry; I just couldn't concentrate. I wonder if the election results will hold, though, and if the orange haze, though deadly, might soon lift. Maybe fate's broken lamp will take that glow with it ~

    1. I understand completely. I have been wordless most of the time for several months, it feels like, and this last week is just anxiety amped higher than my capacity to deal. I join you in hope, however, even tho it will be a very slim margin. Just having him out of the people's house will make a difference. Thanks for coming by, M, and I hope you are as well as you can be.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats