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Dreams of Wonder

Not long out of fairy tales and Chicken Licken
at twelve he was scything icons
wrestling dusty theosophy with Madame Blavatsky
shivering into a comet’s tail with Velikovsky
waiting for the next collision
while Gregorian chants burst roses in the sky


Mickey accompanied him on some travels
broom and bucket in hilarious sorcerer’s dance
while he, shooting between stars on a roman candle
flew circles around four children on a chair with wings


During intermissions between dream scenes
he would, sucking his pencil, consider carefully
the number of angels who could dance
on the point of a pin, and the possible results
of a meeting between the irresistible force
and the impregnable barrier


While other kids kicked leather bladders between posts
he lay on sometimes dusty library floors
unlaced boots kicking a delighted rubato in the air
tracing snail clues through the stacked pages
back to the distant prehistoric strands of genes
and to the magic finger that lit the big bang’s fuse


As the days turned slowly into years
piece-by-piece the starry puzzle emerged
uncounted flecks of light flying in the dark
while far-flung cosmic music filled insistent gaps
disappearing into the closeness of his patient mission


Now here he stands at the apex of his years
scythe in hand a stubborn question mark
looping faint constellations, dim planets
searching among the stellar debris for a simple clue
a word, a hieroglyphic,
a message in a parsec-scarred bottle
once glimpsed in the night
now forever beckoning
answers to the questions
behind the questions
stretching away

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© Johnmichael Simon



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