LARRY’S COSMIC EPIPHANY
During that stretch at the high rise,
I started to read, first the Bible,
Thinking there was something there,
Then books about the universe
And I was startled to discover
Just how insignificant we are,
Barely a speck in the great swirl
Of light and darkness
And when I thought about
All those other planets where
Life was possible, I didn’t feel
The same loneliness I’d always felt,
And I knew I could find a path out
Of the place I’d put myself.
Nights I’d read the poems
That our teacher had left me
And I’d think about the heavens
And how they went on and on
Far beyond the barred windows
Of my little dreams.
“…barred windows” Yes. Fabulous image to clinch this moving poem. Enjoyed them all, Tim. Thank you — and ScottQ
I love the way Tim Peeler describes human smallness, “Barely a speck in the great swirl/ Of light and darkness,” and the vast universe, “Far beyond the barred windows/ Of my little dreams” where even our dreams seem “little.” It’s the plain word when the plain word will do with Tim. He makes writing poetry look easy.
I, too, admire the seeming simplicity of this poem and how Tim Peeler takes a universal thought but makes it fresh. Our speckdom is usually portrayed with fear and insecurity, while he sees infinite possibility.
Quite a potent ending to a strong poem.
This is my kind of poetry. In some ways these poems are like mini Carl Hiassen or Kinky Friedman novels. I like the way they portray what’s going on internally and externally at the same time. This thin barrier we call skin is in reality a permeable membrane. I’ve been reading these poems over and over.
Helen, Alarie and Larry encapsulate the success of this poem: simplicity that is perfect and barriers that are not barriers. Thank you, Tim, for the refreshing approach and flow of this poem.
How much is said without saying it (Dickinson’s “tell it slant”). The high rise is a prison. Larry’s summation of the Bible: “thinking there was something there.” Contemplating the universe and poetry makes him “not feel the same loneliness” and conclude that there is “a path out.” Larry is a humanistic “Misfit.” I wonder if the “conversion” will stick.
Thanks for the comments on this one. I thought it was a throwaway poem until I was putting the manuscript together. Despite everything else he might be, Larry is a man of the earth, and being trapped in a concrete building would have definitely driven him to imagine something “beyond.”
That closing is a real “saver” for what might have been just another catalog of disillusionment. Re author’s comment: Good thing you didn’t throw it away!
Tim Peeler – a poet who can make one love a ganster. Cannot wait for Rough Beast to hit the streets!