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 Fire, Grain, Contemporary Verse 2, Vallum, 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.