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Arrogance of Things

Text of Poem

The growth of the cornfield today
answers yesterday’s question,
but tomorrow? No guarantees beyond
the moment. A dark cloud with a
blast of hail tells me destruction
waits for no man. A touch of frost
will wither oak trees, cornfields,
living flesh. It is the stones,
bricks, machines that go on and on
in the arrogance of existence.
Even this typewriter and desk will prove
more durable than my nerves and muscle.
Dishes, for god’s sake, outlive the hand
that cleans them. No wonder kings filled
their graves with possessions. Who wants
things (bought, stolen or given), to squat
like idols before the future’s greedy eyes?
It may be the junkyard will get us all,
people, crops, tools, machines, but now
my fountain pen which I could snap in two,
mocks me with no signs of age. Swear or weep,
the shadow of the sundial haunts the human face.

First Line
The growth of the cornfield today
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Snake in the Strawberries (1979) 8.
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