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In Nihilo

May 6, 2010

by Ray Templeton

When all the creation stories tripped into reverse
the turning point was palpable —
here a red moon, there a tremor in the earth,
as, remote-controlled and speeding,
the original shocks ran backwards.

All shapes and sizes, dozens of them —
retired demiurges, dazed and blinking,
checked each other’s alibis,
their fingernails for blood. And in the south
the forests drifting into smoke.

Sun on a dimmer-switch, soundtrack slurring,
old words lapsed to opposites, as tricksters
revelled in the glossaries of chaos,
smirked as one more creature disappeared.
In the north, the ice melting.

One last person, fully-ribbed,
gathered to a senseless pile of dust.
A thought in a god’s head
slipped his mind:
now a symptom of the amnesia.


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Ray Templeton is a Scottish writer and musician living in St. Albans, England. His poetry and short fiction has appeared widely on the web as well as in print, most recently in Eclectica, nthposition and qarrtsiluni. His e-chapbook The Act Of Finding was published in 2009 by Right Hand Pointing. He is a regular contributor to Musical Traditions and a member of the editorial board of Blues & Rhythm magazine.

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  1. Tina Celio
    May 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Stunning. This poem will stay with me for a while…

  2. JJS
    June 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    These simple images carry such dreadful power. Even more since we took it, particularly here in America.

    Ray, you might consider passing this poem along to the growing collection (and future anthology) at http://poetsforlivingwaters.com/
    They take work which has been previously published.

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