Lake Effect, Spring 2005, Volume 9: Rather Than Nothing

T. R. Hummer


Rather Than Nothing

Stark, luminous, thick-laced, morning clouds
appear and clarify over a blank valley
As if there were nothing in the universe but matter,
even light condensed to a material thing
You might mine from the sky's impacted veins.
Weighty thought. To move it, you need sweat
And a pickaxe, a helmet with a carbide lamp,
leverage. Images have mass
Like dust in a convoluted shaft where the only sound
is the miner's grunt and the faint note
A canary releases, strangling in airlessness.