Fire at the edge of the primordium
Dragged through the vast receptacle towards life,
Equivalent but not the same from birth
As those ideal, unchangeable clear forms.
Here in Ohio dust rises. Mists of rain
Run on the hanging ivy of the porch.
The bottles in the window gather ash—
All things conspire against immanence.
Did Plato strive to fill a scarecrow’s sleeve?
Ohio winces at his rhetoric.
His gorgeous nonsense will evaporate
Beneath the fiery mantle of the sun.
Under a brittle moon, which time must steal,
And crescent upon crescent build again,
His master spoke such scared ravings once—
Who now would grudge him the reality?
These airy forms which float about the earth
Are strange equivalences, perfect shades
Of what we often touch or taste or hear—
The Ghost within the figure that we fear.
-Blanford Parker, 1976