Northern Lights

“Panta rhea”

Noth­ing you can stom­ach
—Par­ti­cles whack­ing the poles green and red
Seething like mag­gots.
Remains refus­ing to stay dead

And defined, piss­ing on Plato;
His guff about the soul, the good and the true
Down the drain.
Every­thing com­ing up new

Again, strange again,
Ram­pant as that weed in the con­crete divider.
—Both of us
Infantry of ephemeral fire

Advanc­ing against a bar­rage,
Oppos­ing armies strain­ing in every cell.
Even words
Won’t stay nailed down, won’t keep still,

Stretch­ing and strain­ing mean­ing
In spite of the liar ask­ing what truth is.
Smother him,
Swarm him. Truth is all excess.




John Alfred Tay­lor holds a BA from Mis­souri Uni­ver­sity, a MA and a Ph.D. from State Uni­ver­sity of Iowa. He taught at Wash­ing­ton & Jef­fer­son Col­lege, and is now Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus. Over the years he’s had poems in Kayak, the South­west Review, the Kenyon Review, New Let­ters, West Branch, and many other magazines.