diplopic haiku

by strannikov

the day looked clear at

the dawn of modernity,

Dark Ages had passed.


“Binocular Bosch”,

let's call him: from his distance,

men had to look small.


behind the darkness

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

be all abandoned.


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 viruses

under our own gaze,


our own specimens

consent to surveillance, helped

to become microbes.

our fogs are as thick:

no guidepost Galileo,

all road signs are lost.


does a telescope

make Andromeda closer,

guide us there faster?


telescopes once made

the heavens appear close—now,

heavens veer distant.


or could this be true:

we hurl the heavens away,

make ourselves remote?


in mere centuries

our ambitions of reason

tore us from our heads.

under the moon's gaze

for our entire lives, we think

ourselves now steady.