Singularity Ex Nihilo

Words show nothing. Out of nothing

Come the wondrous things.

Words are light, in the beginning:

There is awe in the silence of light.

Commune, at night, with your heart upon your bed,

And be still. Out of darkness

Come the wondrous things

Ex nihilo, out of the space

Of the slightly smiling expression

On the face of light.

Ironies of something

And nothing, goodness transforming,

That its joy may be made complete:


Here is the story, single, of a quiet man

Carried down among nameless gardens

As if by gravity, with eyes and body

Like a bee descending into a flower.

First, the fountain casts waves of light

On undersides of leaves,

And trunks of trees, and his face

Like the marbled skin of a man who ran in sun

All along the summer.

Chubby green leaves and fragile yellow stars

Spray on the soil

As if ripples pass the water’s edge,

Water into green life.

And here stands the crimson king maple

With its tanned leaves. And now the stream,

In quick descent of the hill’s slow flow,

Though it may be seen

As almost eternal, when sounds around the small waterfall

Add numbers undisclosed

To the definite calculation.

The descending line of the hill

Allows one plant, shot up into vision,

To stand alone, foreground on background,

Trees, lawns, pond.

Yet were the white tip of this plant

Where the apical meristem,

Always swelling with newness,

Holds potential shapes,

To refresh the mind –

To see the depth of things once more –

A secret sharing of light

Announced, distance suspended,

Glitter on water on the slender stem:

Then light moves over land as potent

As light that skims water

When I sit at water’s edge,

The whole world uplifted

Within feet of the flat mirror…

And the hill’s slow flow, and a cascade of juniper

Planted where it dips at a greater angle,

As if the gardener wished to see the froth

Of geologic time.

That space has infinite points bursts open for the eye

In radiating pine needles, an insight

Driven on into motion by the waving wall of leaves

Across the pond: not one tree,

But collective space woven

Of openness to light.

Is there a word to address

Every part of the tangled tree branches?

Is there a word to address just one part?

That would be a proper name.

Trevor John Robertson

Trevor John Robertson has published poetry in journals such as Prairie FireGrainContemporary Verse 2Vallum, and Acta Victoriana. He is interested in phenomenology and the ways in which the ethical structures of subjectivity underpin language and perception. He lives in Korea. 

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