Dick Davis


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

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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