The Ancient Modern

Empty /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

I am old and crave the old things now: 
            Mountains with lost names,
            Monuments to places and events
forgotten. I crave hieroglyphs 
and guesses, grottos and voids,
with memories trailing behind them like
the last blue smoke from a dying fire. 

I crave the cone-shaped Shadow 
            of the Earth, the arrow pointing 
            always outward, away from the Sun 
into unbroken wastes, wilder-lands;
away from the Solar Hearth 
where our warmth and light appear. 
Those are the oldest places: 

measureless and indeterminate
              stretches of thing-less emptiness.
              Orphaned atoms wander there
seeking a homely gravity, where the call
from stars is too far away to reach 
or to care. Nothing passes there 
but an indication: elsewhere is light.

I crave where Nothing has changed 
              or been or grown or conquered. Nameless.
              Explorers, conquerors, captorsNames
are given by those with intent to possess
and names to spare. I am old; I crave
the inverted mountain, the unfounded
Temple. Without below; without above.

There, just at this moment, the Echo 
             of the Origin has ceased to sound.
             I reach with my old mind where the
arrow indicates. Silence, waiting. Motionless
without desire. Old ears tire of noise;
Old eyes seek shelter past the conic Shadow;
where the senses rest, unburdened and unharmed.

All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2019 by Joshua Alan Sturgill

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