Tim Kahl

 

 

 

PECKING ORDER

 

When the nihilist encounters a brigade of elephants,
he resists his slow and methodical walk, his measured
gaze deeming the morningís behavior as random.
He stops and insists there are no new announcements
rising out of the established void of the material world.
He knows he is estranged.  He is tarred by a spacious doubt
with his considerations of the arbitrary.  He grinds
his molars down, yet such a force as this herd must be
believed.  The unintended melody of feet dragged
through the dust evokes notions he canít account for.

There is the easy idea of pleasure
whose activists he has met at the boat launch.
He has met its converts at the theme parks,
its radicals in windowless rooms full of
gratified nudes.  Heís aware his thinking is
ruined; his sense of everything being scattershot
is overwhelmed by the raw force
of someone elseís greater comprehension of order.

Somebody else understands the beak and the claw,
the grudges held by chimps and the awe at the sound
of a thunderous herd on the move . . . then the pause
near the site of a loved one that died more than
a year ago.  Memory steers the herd onto
this meaningful path.  Those that fail to accept
the pleasure of knowing are made miserable
by the will of the leader to keep the herd intact
and driving forward, ever forward, into
the indecipherable dark of the material world.

Copyright © 2004 Tim Kahl.  All Rights Reserved.

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