Sequence Instead of Services on Sunday

by Gary Hardaway

From a Warehouse of Nouns

What we see is always and only human
though augmented by lenses we devise-

the microscope, the telescope, our
diction, syntax and grammar, the great

listening array of dished radiotelescopes.
It always comes down to the ocular nerve,

the small bones of the inner ear, our
insubstantial nerves and a highly selective

intelligence lodged in a wrinkled
ball of tissue. We reach for things and objects

made of ever smaller things and objects
in a dazzling field of experience

we only vaguely understand. What right
have we but to go on looking and listening

for a greater language out of which we have identified
a few small verbs and warehouses full of nouns?

From an activity prompted and informed, in part, by two easy pieces:
Digging, by Heaney, and Wodwo, by Hughes.

Closed Systems are Imaginary

We cannot watch
the molecules of cantaloupe

corrupt vanilla ice cream
only taste their

stealthy conquest,

Writerly Admonition

If you can't be great
at least be generous.


You find a way of making poems
you believe and make them.

Other ways exist.
You can find them, too,

and not surround yourself
with armor plate and helmet

as you twirl a stone-armed sling
above your head.