diplopic haiku

by strannikov

the day looked clear at

modernity's early dawn,

Dark Ages had passed.


“Binocular Bosch”,

let's call him: distant from him

men had to look small.


behind the deep dark

of fire-licked backgrounds, men melt

in his conjured hells.


Saint Anthony's Christ

does not guide conquerors: He

leads only the poors.


no shrouds cover Christ:

the Holy is not hidden

hiding on His Cross.


(Do not be deceived:

the Holy is less remote

than we from ourselves.)


the conquests commenced:

mystery, the claim came, would

all abandoned be.


Copernicus spied

a new centrifugal spin:

Bosch saw what he meant.


Bosch's brush foresees

the descent of bestial men

for van Leeuwenhoek:


swarming under glass,

virulent as a virus

under our own gaze,


specimens ourselves

consent to surveillance, helped

to become microbes.

our fogs are as thick:

Galileo no sure guide,

all road signs are lost.


does a telescope

bring Andromeda close by,

guide us there more quick?


telescopes once made

the heavens appear close—now,

heavens only veer.


or could this be true:

we hurl the heavens away,

make ourselves remote?


centuries alone

our ambitions of reason

tore us from our heads.

under the moon's gaze

for our entire lives, we think

ourselves now steady.