The Promise

The Promise

Promising myself before bedtime
to contend more urgently
with the problem. From nothing
nothing comes. Behind everything –
something, somebody? In the beginnning
violence, the floor of the universe
littered with fragments. After
the enormous brawl, where
did the dove come from? From what
acorn mind these dark
boughs among which at night
thought loses its way back
to its dim sources, onward
to that illuminated citadel
that truth keeps? Light’s distances
are without meaning and unreconciled
by the domestic. I pit my furniture
against the emptiness that is beyond
Antares, but the equation
is not in balance. There are no cushions
for the emotions. Thermodynamic
cold or else incineration
of the planet – either way
there is no hope for the species.
Are Sophocles and Mozart sufficient
justification for the failure
to find out? Beyond
the stars are more stars where love, perhaps,
or intellect or the anonymous is busy.

R..S. Thomas, No Truce with the Furies

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