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There was a time

by Kevin T. McEneaney
Tue Apr 18th, 2017

when poetry astonished the ear,

yet astronomy, physics, and chemistry

now pioneer that frontier.

Mathematics has overshadowed metaphor.


A poet may recollect a full moon,

but satellites can map

the dark side of the moon.

A poet can describe sunlight on a lily,

yet astronomy can describe a black hole

devouring a sun larger than our own

while telescopes provide the picture.


A nuclear bomb is mightier than a pen.

Although the pen might still be

mightier than an antique sword,

the pen is no longer a mythical axis,

although the pen still records conscience,

the dignity of humankind,

as well as its shame.


The pen retains

that frank, pithy power

of what’s personal.

A pen can still limn

the shadow of a petal,

stamen of flower.