Article in Arts / Literature / Poetry
Do you see now … how the same atoms [PRIMORDIA, SEMINA RERUM] a little changed in their relations create fires and firs? Just as the words [QUO PACTO VERBA] themselves, too, consist of elements a little changed, when we mark FIRES or FIRS with a distinct name. Lucretius, DE RERUM NATURA
 
 
 

Simple, Isn't It?


Look at a word with me, why don’t you? Humor
My inquisitiveness just a bit.
And you, too, any who stand around,
You’re welcome to expand or clarify.

You often tell me that simple is best,
And I always hear you out patiently —
After all, the whole world says the same thing —
But do any of you know what you mean?

Far away and long ago (yes, I just said that),
Our language erupted from the throats of beasts.
If only we could remember the time!
Still, imagine simple with me, if you will.

Lucretius argues letters are like atoms:
Fission and fusion of primal elements
Seed nature in wonders so copious
And language so heavy with history.

From two seeds simple springs, not so simple,
–sem and –pli, one and fold, or “folded once.”
Do you feel the shudder down the spine of time?
If folded, not simple … yet “simple” still!

It is simple. Everything we know begins
Not in one but two (hence the lies one tells),
And when we refuse the fission of wonder,
We betray our body’s simple unfolding

Between meiosis and space-time curvature,
Through divisions more numerous than the stars,
In cells and organs that keep chaos at bay,
To arrive at thought as complex as simple.

 
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R Allen Shoaf
EROTIC RECKONINGS, my second volume of poetry, can now be purchased from New Plains Press or from Amazon. My third volume, PIED-PIPER PHILOL

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