The Lonely Room

Who is to say what a man
May not uncover
Through calculation
In his lonely room?

The grim equations show
How dark forces will tear
Our panoply of stars apart.
And a banded streak of light reveals
An atom's secret beating heart.

A poet sits,
Pondering what to save
In her textual Noah's Ark -
An egret's silent flap
Or a puppy's shrill, insistent bark.

And in machines,
Like living cells,
A billion writhing snakes cavort
To give us drugs to keep us safe,
Or to optimize
A pharma company's
Annual report.

But the rising tide of time
Will breach all walls
Of steel and thought,
As death seeps in
With nature's mindless wit,
Through tiny cracks,
Like mourners tears,
Sinking cargo, crew and ship.

An errant speck
Rending blood from blood,
And brother from brother,
And tearing a son's lifeless form
From the arms
Of his shaking mother.

The battle lost
The room becomes a tomb,
Of infinite cost.

The mind is swamped
With surges of regret,
For wasted time
And loves unmet,
For a son or dad we
Took for granted.

The missing years
Bring forth more tears
For a garden newly cleared
But left unplanted.

The lonely room
Is cold now and replete
With thoughts unfinished
And projects incomplete.
The calculations spin
That death will win,
But not quite yet.

As we stand alone,
Upon the brink,
A door cracks open,
Disturbing paper, pen and ink -
A child's words brightly spoken,
Say the world's not wholly broken.
It is time to live,
Not think.

© 2013 Gavin Miller. All rights reserved.