The Dance of Nada


The charm of these woods

melts in the summer heat

tree rings swell to more

than trunks can hold

seams in stones split apart

ragged bits of viscera

multicolored gravel

spill to the forest floor

And so the world ends

burned into oblivion

the power of suffering

canceled under the strain

of hell is other people

à la Sartre

theologians counter

hell is the absence of God


To declare the earth gutted

of meaning far outweighs

whatever good the human mind can grasp

all things emerge from nothingness

to which they inexorably return

nada de nada runs the endless refrain

nothing from nothing

No particles no forces

no chemical elements

no laws of physics

only nada de nada prevails

something outside the void

must fill the void yet we search

and seek and there is nothing

Hell is not equal to the shadow of God

rescued from the grip of nothingness

he dwells where being and no-thing meet

devolving into one substance

call it contingent existence

or the weeping world

or the great unknown


Along the quays of the Seine

I pass book stalls overflowing

with bound paper and printer’s ink

so many manuals to navigate

the worm of nothingness

that gnaws at our minds

poisoning our souls

We carry the germ

of our own nada within us

it haunts us like a senile ghost

it can offer nothing

but the worn manacles of morality

still we weigh the chances of success and failure

and never detect where they land


I thumb a well worn copy of Baudelaire

amused at his mannered outrageousness

outraged at his insistence on the hideous

what presents itself along the Seine

shows no more than the face of the Other

as she approaches like Orpheus taming our bias

soothing our conscience expiating guilt raining gold


The incorrigible dance of nada sweeps me away

among tourist boats moored in morning light

after a night of sightseeing devouring

the great symbols of the City of Light

O how the other world penetrates this one

expressed as spirit as malleable being as hope shaped

into a tower of exquisite ironwork so high above

nada de nada de nada de nada let us climb it together

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