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Friday, January 15, 2021


by DeWitt Clinton

“The end of the earth,” acrylic painting by Tobi Star Abrams

The end?  Well, we could hardly call it that, as if
Whatever just happened, isn’t found in an old
Paper thin tome nobody’s read for a zillion years,
Instead, the end, or The End, just keeps blistering
The heck out of nearly everyone, though some
Are immune, and will never know when any End
Is just around, looking for hopeless dopes like most
Of us are now, prayers done with, floors mopped
With Clorox, as if that would scare anyone away,
But the Bugs like that deep inhalation we take when
We walk into any room, like sniffing lighter fluid
Right into the lungs where it plans to stay and stay
Until all of us are turned over onto our stomachs
By the kindest of medical staff, hoping the deep
Breaths will pull us out, but most of us have already
Died, and had no clue anything was like The End as
So many are whispering about now, as if Breaking
News isn’t about a new political cataclysm, but rather
Breaking the hearts of so many in so many hugely
Different parts of our world, everywhere even in
Antarctica, and who brought the Bugs in to such a
Pristine, icy world anyway?  ICU’s are now in gift
Shops, chapels, parking lots with unique tenting
Materials and refrigerator trucks behind and out
Of sight, keeping all the dead quite cool until we
Find a place that will prepare the dead without
Ending up as the prepared dead.  That’s our new
World with the best hopes of looking ahead nearly
Two or three years out, and even then, new varieties
Will awaken all of us again, those who aren’t quite
Living any more, but just waiting, you know for what
Don’t you, call it what you want but here, it’s The End.

Recent poems by DeWitt Clinton have appeared in Lowestoft Chronicle, The New Reader Review, The Bezine, The Poet by Day, Verse-Virtual, Poetry Hall, Muddy River Poetry Review, Across the Margin, Art + Literature Lab, One Magazine, Fudoki Magazine (England), and The New Verse News.  He has two poetry collections from New Rivers Press; a recent collection, At the End of the War; and By a Lake Near a Moon: Fishing with the Chinese Masters, poetic adaptations of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese.  He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, and lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin.