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Between Forefinger and Thumb

Is this a legitimate pastime

for a piece of charcoal

cold from a dead fire

or a feathered quill dropped from

a passing cormorant

as it flies out towards

the narrowing horizon?


Why should the ink in my veins

the walls of this cave

care about anything?  As the

waves write their endless

white operas upon the shore

the stars describe their patterns—

creatures that never existed.


The blind map of sky

looks down on us

caring neither for philosophy

nor guidance

sharpened charcoal, dipped quills

need to be held carefully

between forefinger and thumb

to inscribe these marks and scratches

on manuscripts, canvases and walls.


This tidal urge

our fingers obey

and like the stars,

the cormorant, the waves

must keep obeying.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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