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Cosmogony

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A yarn ball and a hill
maintain an equipoise until
         their neatness starts to bore the gods
                   of potential and energy
         who hedge bets, reckoning the odds
                   of when the rest will be

set in motion, and who,
first stumbling upon this clew,
          constructed both the incline and
                   the inclination to unwind.
          Like most gods, though, they haven’t planned
                   to stay; they mastermind

the scheme, ex nihilio,
then slip behind the shadow show
          and designate an agent, chief
                   remaker of their mischief made.
          Each time, disguised, this leitmotif
                   gets salvaged and replayed,

a universe begins,
for orogens and origins
          suppose a Way Things Were before
                   some volatile, untimely That—
          sweetness perverted by the core
                   or belfry by the bat,

or here, a hilly green,
whose still life, eerily serene,
          completes their best contrivance yet:
                   from high above, a williwaw,
          a hiss, and then the silhouette
                   of one terrific paw.


Source: Poetry (December 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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Cosmogony

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