Monday, March 27, 2006


I am shaken awake
in the thin
empty hours
far past midnight
wondering if I'd
only dreamed
the freight train rumble
of an earthquake
then decide that
the aftershocks
are real enough
to believe.

I explain these
diminishing shivers
to myself
in borrowed terms
of physical science
as I await
that precise moment when
some internal pendulum
reaches a safe null
balanced in a suspense
of diminished arcs
wanting cessation
yet knowing that
never quite ceases
that long fine rods
balanced delicately
in sweeping strokes
of weighted motion
dwindle only just
to imperceptible shivers
never quite achieving
craved-for stillness
vibrating instead
in unsympathetic resonance
with some hidden cataclysm
still echoing beneath crusts
of solid-seeming things
along unseen faultlines
far distant in
geography or years
yet knowing that
great distance or time
have never been
adequate bulwarks against
the traitorous harmonics
of aftershocks
and also knowing
that this poem
is a jagged telltale line
on a seismograph cylinder.

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