Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Tribe of Dreamers

“Art thou not of the dreamer tribe?”
John Keats, The Fall of Hyperion

At their best, poets can see into the heart of a beggar,
his extended hand withered and bare like a sycamore branch in fall.

They can define the wherewithal of hookers and harlequins
as they go through the motions, painted and dressed to the oblivious nines.

Seers and prophets, they build a kingdom of syllables
that cannot be toppled by the Tower of Babel’s foreign syntax.

Their words flow from Hippocrene's pure and fathomless spring,
pens poised eternally above blank parchment, ready to bleed new wine.

They know whether Schrödinger’s cat is alive or dead,
particle and wave always dancing at reality’s elusive cotillion.

How vast and ingenious is the universe that the poet dreams,
where lovers always pirouette back to promissory schemes,

to the subatomic spin that entangles trivial and lofty things.
Their lines of verse run across pages to create a newfound scripture

so holy and divine, rooted in the earth yet also knowing
the glory of rhyme and reason, of untethered feathered wings
and the nightingale that forever in the dark our collective poetry sings.

~William Hammett

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