Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hanging From The Floor Of Heaven

—John Holmes

John Milton said the world in a starry rain
Was hung from heaven's floor by a golden chain,
And would not be displaced and could not fall.
We think the world is held by its own spin
Where it is, and will be, and has always been,
Though we make burns and gouges in the ball.

Milton by Galileo could have been told
World depends from no stranded loops of gold,
But had his poem to make, and would not hear.
I hang, and I have always known I hung
From the floor of heaven, and when I was young
Rattled my golden chain and golden sphere.

Hang is the word for it still, hard to the floor's
Underside, though cratered by meteors.
What was cable I see is old-fashioned rope,
Or cord. It could be called cord, but it's thread
I'll be hanged with by the neck now till I'm dead.
From the bump of wars and nicks of time I look up

At that thin thread. Is that all it is?
The man next door at eighty dangles on his,
Less than twice my age, and holds up well,
Classicist and grandfather. Where do they get stuff
Like that, stone-thread, sun-wire, thong so tough
I feel safe from my own or even Milton's hell?