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Friday, April 24, 2015

Four Poems by Jerry Austin


This is a weird universe, and we can't know.
Does our conscience go on a scale at death?
This is a weird universe and we can't know.

Will DMT take us to aliens?
I doubt we're the only life in this universe.
Will DMT take us to aliens?

And does poetry make everything happen?
By which I mean, does it extend from the vital breath?
And does poetry make everything happen?

The professor told me: “It may turn out we can know.
But we just can't know that we know.”
The professor told me: “It may turn out we can know.”

The one you can never fool for long,
By whatever name, is the conscience:
The one you can never fool for long.

Jerry Austin / 22 April 2015

All Finite Things Reveal Infinitude

Was it William Bray said: "We don't
go to heaven; we are in heaven,
we just don't realize it."

I could believe that, today,
as I walked near View Ridge
Playfield--on the blocks nearby.

After rain, a half-hour of sunlight--
rare as peace--enfolded the yellow
azaleas and dense-pink flowers

of an ornamental tree. It was as if
one, without trying too hard, but simply
by not fighting it, could see into

the farther universe of things. Why
farther to see what is already there?
I don't know. But that's how it seemed.

Plain sidewalk; plain lawn, house,
park. Gardens. Rain lit with sun
on the infinite trees.

Jerry Austin / 24 April 2015


You may as well begin now.
in a year or a thousand
be discovered
our solar system.
of problems--Big
will remain.
on the beaches, wind blends
and a hushing, while the
roll like clocks
to a better-sounding tick and
a music you have known
away in your neurons
this time. The universality,
and organization of life will
knowledge of God.
new dangers arise always from
(and here I wanted to comfort,
have sworn to sincerity).
our center, a Paradise
will in part be with us.

Jerry Austin / 18 April 2015

Dark Patch

Beavers had gnawed and worked
the timber that high valley, and left
a flat landscape our trail now ascended

past. Old now, older than some tall
trees.... Dark niches that scare me
do not surprise, but what much-spooked

in youth, radiated darker energies
and salience takes me back, back far
as Roethke's crow, or elders'

visionary tellings. A shudder
black-rose-black vibrated all
throughout my butterflywinged

wildscapes within, and far within,
where shared visions of unknown
ancestors and theirs much-conjure,

much-raise. Yes, I remember green
black forest on land flat as a beaver's
tail, and toothpick trees, thin as

skinny people, storks' legs, bamboo,
that didn't split the dark but furthered
thesterness, its tales of all the skies

to have passed overtop, while owls and
golden little birds in their seasons
raced to ungloom its niches.

Jerry Austin / 19 January 2015