Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Poem by Rees Nielsen

The Hammer Down

The earth spins 1000 miles per hour at the equator
the planet orbits the sun at 66,000 miles per hour
and we tag our star through space at 43,000 miles per
the milky way itself flung headlong into destiny at 1.3 million miles per hour
so I hit the gas and merge into heavy traffic doing 80
my heart pumping
blue veins desperately routed toward a lung full of oxygen
as my brain fights to stay five moves ahead
speeding up, slowing down,
changing lanes at random,
surrounded by other crackpots flying down Interstate 35
looking for gax,
or a doughnut
or a proctologist
or lunch
come robbery, deceit, birthday party, ballroom dancing, piano recital or nooner
while somewhere on this very road
the most beautiful girl in all creation sits behind the wheel
of a 95 Mexican built Volkswagen bug, moving just as fast and just as lonely as me
and in the distance a baby cries as disease, inequity and mayhem close in
and every day men murder other men with increasing efficient technology and enthusiasm
even now in the scramble of all this hub bub
this final sprint towards nowhere, closes on the future
that black sky where every star flung so far apart
that the very last one goes out like the spit of a sputtering pilot light
still as death we stand before you,
the dark matter of the universe, stepped into light
dreaming Vishnu's dream
come take my hand
I bring that promise, that will see you safely home

For 35 years Rees Nielsen farmed stone fruit in California's San Joaquin Valley.  In 2011, after losing his wife Riina, he moved to Indianola, Iowa to experience his grandchildren, Marshall and Adelaide Taylor, on a daily basis.  He has exhibited his poetry, prose, and visual art in many publications, here and in the UK.

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