BY STEVE MCORMOND
DARK CLOUDS (ANOTHER APOCALYPSE)
The clouds rolled in and never left.
Lightning in them but no rain.
Life, as Auden observed, went on
disinterestedly. There was the tuna
casserole to keep from burning, the dog
whimpering to be let out.
Panels of experts convened on TV
to discuss the subterranean rumblings,
the preponderance of messianic cults.
We perked up at the gory bits,
the jumpers and self-immolations,
rituals involving goat’s blood.
Accustomed to instant gratification,
we wanted our apocalypse now.
How many times could we say goodbye
before we grew bored, turned a blind eye?
We had fetishes to attend to,
money to make and spend.
Years since we’d seen the stars,
they ceased to cross our minds.
What advice can I give, my fledglings,
my little vanishings, as you pack your things
and prepare to leave? Everything is fine, the sky
has been falling a long time. My wisdom in short
supply, these words must seem vague and kitschy
like the Lord’s Prayer painted on a grain of rice.
Already you are better than me. Each generation
is and should be incomprehensible to its parents.
We will want to go quietly. Don’t let our grey hair
keep you from meting out the judgment we’re due.
Love immoderately and permit yourselves rage.
Anger makes things happen. The mob is gospel.
And to those who claim it couldn’t be stopped:
At every point along its path, the arrow is still.
"Dark Clouds (Another Apocalypse)" and "Envoi" from The Good News about Armageddon (Brick Books, 2010).
Steve McOrmond is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Reckon (Brick Books, 2018). He lives in Toronto. www.stevemcormond.com
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