Friday, December 20, 2013

A Poem by Mantz Yorke

Black Hole
That was the moment of crushing,
lying sleepless in the cold
hour before dawn, afraid to ask
and yet not ask: you, curled
from my questioning touch,
Light bursting inward,
That was the beginning of it.
Now the shrivelling
winds rip
the last leaves from the trees, and frosts blacken
the dahlias in our garden: I see
the world engraved
with cold, and still
no snow to soften the ice-keen
talons of the merciless hawk.
And what of you, Orion,
stretched out across this wintry sky?
Is not your virility
a mere illusion?
Has not the sword
deep in your gut?
Like you, I am silent.
Somewhere in your frame,
the astronomers tell us,
atoms are falling
beyond the reach of comprehension,
their radiance hovering,
imprisoned by implosion.
This dark space is all that binds us.

I await new constellations:
will you, Leo,
in slow procession,
help me bear the pall
of Orion's springtime burial?
I circle this horizon, accelerating
inward, yet centrifugal:
a temporary equilibrium, this balance
point of crisis, this moment
when the wavering will
must make its choice -
or extinction.
Mantz Yorke is a former teacher living in Manchester, England.  His work has appeared in the series 'Best of Manchester Poets' and in various publications, including the anthology 'Of Sun and Sand'.

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