Featured in A SEASON OF GRIEVING

MATHEW PAUST

The giants are not going gentle,

their Paleo legacy’s doing the Welshman proud-

– combustibility of kindreds, raging on road and page.

I hear them both this chilly morning, as I stroll through town,

the rising sun friendly on my back. Ahead, cries of ancient behemoths

reach through legions of sycamore, oak, poplar, and pine left

to buffer us from asphalt bedlam.

This morning the trees seem complicit, as if

recognizing a kinship, relaying what they hear as warnings,

tilting leaves for acoustic advantage, limbs waving urgent

decibels my way. And what reaches my ears does bespeak

an inordinate passion, almost a desperation—little guys

pushing unmuffled snarls to boundaries of hysteria,

embarrassing the giants to crescendo their rumbling

growls into bellows of terrible, wrenching irony.

I hear a double poignancy in these voices celebrating

extinction past and future. Oblivion’s abstracted,

denial and defiance hold the center. And why not?

Not going gentle affirms instinct— the other demands

resolve, and to what end? What satisfaction? Nay, to rage

against the dying of the light in one final tantrum! One last

curse at the inevitable! Ego’s ultimate rejection of ending

with a whimper! Dammit, rev the fucking engine!

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