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For Joshua Mehigan


These are the dawn thoughts of an atheist

Vaguely embarrassed by what looks like grace:

Though colors don't objectively exist,

And have no form, and occupy no space,


So that the carpet's sumptuous dyes must make

Bold arabesques untrue as Santa Claus,

And all Matisse's pigments are a fake

Fobbed off on us by intellectual laws,


And neither Fauve nor Esfahan survive

The deconstructed physics of our seeing

Still we consent, and actively connive

In their unreal adjustments to our being.


So the thin rhetoric we use to cope

With being so peculiarly here,

Which cannot but be based on baseless hope

And self-constructed images of fear,


Serves to interpret what we are, although

We hesitate to say that what it says

Refers to anything that we could know

Beyond the mind's perpetual paraphrase . . .


And sensing that no quiddity remains

Outside the island sorceries of sense

(Queen Circe's simulacra in our brains

That make and unmake all experience)


Still, still we long for Light's communion

To pierce and flood our solitary gloom:

Still I am grateful as the rising sun

Picks out the solid colors of my room.


Dick Davis



Dick Davis; originally printed in The Three Penny
.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by Kelly

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