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Page 44

But let the sun orbit the earth.
Hitler wrote busily aday (in his prison cell,
making space for himself by writing a book
that surrounded his millions of readers
with the ideas that confined him,
turning all of Europe into his cell.

He filled blank pages with his scrawl
as a spider elaborates his web, filled
blank faces with the fire of his rhetoric.

The result: Millions of voices, past,
present and future, were silenced,
and perhaps the burning of books
made blank the pages that had been full.

Blankness (shiny, remember) flared up,
leaving a smudge of black ash --
remains of words? Or did the words rise
from the flames and ascend? Long ago,
a revered Rabbi, watching his fellow scholars
immolated on a pile of Torahs,
said that as they burned, he saw the words
rise like sparks from the burning scrolls
and ascend to Heaven.

An imp that may be me wonders if these words
reassembled themselves to become
the credits of movies like STAR WARS
that zoom toward us or away, out of
or toward far distant galaxies.

Surely our words are out there.
I suspect, long after they've ceased to adhere
to our passions and ideas, they become
all these flitting things, so fatally drawn
to our candle flames and light bulbs.

Note to movie buffs: The Star Wars credits moved one way (towards us?); and soon after, the first Superman movie had its credits moving the other way (away from us?), both against a star-scape to the music of John Williams. I began to think of a future space ship encountering what seems at first to be an asteroid field, then, just before the fatal collision, the crew realizing that they've run into a bunch of old movie credits, long lost in space. (The ship collides with "Princess Leia's third hair-dresser:...".)

Probably ghosts of words ascended from Nazi book-burnings or Roman Torah/martyr burnings would not damage a space ship, only cause mysterious and disturbing moods among the crew.)

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