Tracing that Long Path

Our lives pass like cherry blossoms,
snapped from hurried branch to ripened fruit.
We flit from first to fledged to finished,
put out to ash one hundred years an instant.
A truth we scarcely want to envision,
yet death and quantum mechanics will have it.

In human want and vanity we make
the cosmos roll into a ball and laugh,
as if our hundred was even a flash
to its endless procession of cold stars.
It’s like to ants a rose would bloom eternal.

Do not ask the cosmos or pyramids
of the atoms that went into their form,
or the rose of the ants that flit across its back:
for the pyramids would not even know
of sciences written in scales of man.

The seasons changing keys set fruit to fall
from mindful sagging branch to brutal dust
below. The ants divert their sacred path
to sweets divinely delivered on high,
like man attributing meaning to change.

Is it just we who contemplate the ants,
the Sagan starstuff, the music vast?


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