Ghazal of the Eternal Return

This entry is part 41 of 55 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2012


What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.’ ~ Nietzsche, The Gay Science


Clamor, raucous clamor, of cicadas amid the trees— Who has not
heard those notes before? Uncanny, insistent, especially in return.

How would you feel if you had only one brief window to leave your
mark, to wed your fate, then fade? I’d do it over too, upon return.

And it’s all good, is what it seems to say: not just the joys but all wrong turns,
chances missed, errors, hurts. But to repeat them all, to have them all return?

Not merely bear the necessary, Nietzsche says: still less to conceal it.
Most days I try but fail to completely understand how fate is love, returned.

One summer we walked along the seawall at dusk. The waters roiled
with humid vapors. A cyclone cloud of gnats circled above, then returned.

The wings of insects shimmer, their bodies hard like minerals in the dusky
light. You can’t pick out only the heart of dark obsidian for return.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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