Three Poems by Bruce W. Niedt

The Artist Celestial

With every single line moving further out in time…
Brian Eno and John Cale, Spinning Away

 Sketching the world from a hilltop,
I am the scribe for the end of the day,
but as dark encroaches I cannot tell
where my hand ends and the line begins,
where the stars end and the sky begins,
and the sky pulls me up and out
and stretches me to a sketched-out line
as I watch myself on a hilltop
watching myself in the sky
and the panorama grows, pulling back
and the world holds the apple
and the apple holds the world
and the moon rolls round its orbit like a pinball
and the line pulls me out into a cosmic string
drawing on, and I tumble past the planets,
and my hand becomes a comet streaking
through the gases of the stars,
and I dissipate into cosmic dust, and
the galaxy pinwheels back to the beginning
when everything exploded from nothing
and my hand and my pencil draw it all again.

Stranger Universe

Before the digital age, if you tuned your TV to somewhere between channels, it would show the faint hum of white noise or snow. One percent of that snow was actually made up of radiation left over by the Big Bang.  – Zeeya Merali, A Big Bang in a Little Room    

A stranger universe could not be made
by man. It blows our minds that TV sets
could catch the particles that never fade,
that beamed out from Creation, cosmic jets
of energy and matter blowing out,
but also that we breathe the oxygen
that dinosaurs inhaled, and how about
the rain that pelts our heads, to think that when
Li Po or Charlemagne walked out in storms,
the same rain soaked them too.  And then it hits
us - everything's a cycle, taking forms
from molecules and subatomic bits,
to supernovas - all of which surprise
and show us nothing ever really dies.
 
 

Möbius Avenue

I step outside my house this evening, evaluating the stars and my position. Off on another constitutional. It’s always been exactly one mile, but since they repaved the street, it’s now twice as long. It must be that strange pitch and roll, a half-twist about five blocks down, that has changed things, left me strangely unsettled. My perspective feels different, even though the stars, the trees and houses look the same. The thing is, when I’ve gone two miles in a straight line, I’m back at my own house. Another two miles, and it happens again. And again. My street has become a tape loop, a repeating echo, a real-life GIF.  I am constantly leaving and returning to my house at the same time. I feel a combination of homesickness and wanderlust. Others I have encountered on my street have the same puzzled expression that I must possess. They don’t know whether to be dismayed or reassured.
We’re never too far from home, but we’re never far enough.

***

Bruce W. Niedt is a retired “beneficent bureaucrat” from southern New Jersey whose poetry has appeared in numerous publicatons including  Rattle, Writer’s Digest, Tiferet, Spitball, Chantarelle’s Notebook, US 1 Worksheets, and  Edison Literary Review.  His third and most recent Pushcart Prize nomination was for “Vader Redux”, a SF-themed poem that appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of Star*Line, a publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. His latest chapbook is Hits and Sacrifices (Finishing Line Press) His work also appears in Mason Street’s Fall 2019 Issue.

Photo by H. Heverlein

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