This is the end

not a bang but a kind of whimper?

to be born

or borne, or reborn, or born again -- that
is the question, the mission, the goal, the hope
for a shred of redemption in the current insanity,
the ongoing calamity, one note profanity, inanity ...

give us a rhyme, world, a reason, give us a graceful
way out of this fucked up season, a reset button for sense
and basic sensibility, for a pinch of transcendence
or at least tranquility. see, it’s getting old, this story,

old and tired and boring -- how many more sabers can
we rattle? how many rubber bullets will we shoot at shouting
students? how many more humanity majors can we
scuttle? all in the name of practicality, economy,

democracy, governmental agency? poetry makes nothing
happen, says auden, mourning yeats. but still it
survives, he admits, a way of happening, a mouth,
and here it is, still coming from mine, pushing out, one

impossible word at a time, and certainly i’m, we’re,
laboring to be beautiful in an ugly era, and to love
each other in the midst of (or to spite?) those clashing armies
in the night. yes, i’m stealing from century-old poems,

recycling the melancholy lyrics of the dead, but who else
can tell it better? who else can testify to the vicious cycles
of abuse, misuse, and looseness with the truth that
bury us alive? turning and turning in yeats’ widening gyres,

we fall apart. unholy ghosts who can’t hear our handlers,
pure predators soaring away from any center into soiled ether.