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The Hammer of Uncertainty

by David Adès

Oh, for the certainty of death and taxes
when all else is shifting sand.
A thousand moons you have seen

all over the world:
moon glow preceding moon
over the stony fingers of Cappadocia,

the moon rising brimful,
swollen, etching into view
the dark line of the Adelaide hills,

and again, in different phases
a silver halo, slivered, crescent,
washing the sky with light,

ascetic high on the mountain’s rim,
jaundiced yellow eye,
sickly sickle over the wheat fields,

and then, the moonless nights
littered with the applause of stars,
rabid dogs hunting in packs

on the beaches of Goa —
but look, this too is illusion:
the moon blinked, the heavens shifted

and now, can you hear it,
the tide’s roar is gathering,
the hammer of uncertainty,

impervious, oblivious,
is swinging on its heavy,
fateful downward arc.

Copyright © 2012 by David Adès

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