In a dark field 

a winter bonfire

crackles sparks into the sky;

our cosmic bonfire vents/ignites

a scatter of reeling galaxies

flickering on, flickering out.

The seeming succession 

of minutes, millennia, 

the four-billion years 

of Brahma’s Kalpa cycle,

cycles and epicycles, 

whose spokes zip by 

in a zettasecond, 

every thirty trillion years, 



Sometimes it feels our Kalpa 

is barely underway:

we’re in the first 

flash of a zettasecond;

in a mere millennium 

there will be megacities 

on megaplanets 

in megagalaxies.

Sometimes, near the end:

galaxies flailing apart

at unimaginable speed, 

the most distant invisible, 

unknowable to ours, as ours to them.

We are particles of something

that can neither know itself 

or be known;

each of us 

a floating coral fixing 

to its random necropolis;

billions of years past

billions to come

only this thin moment

infected by us;

ash from our bonfire 

invisible on the dark ground.

Kieran Egan lives in Vancouver. His chapbook ‘Among The Branches‘, was published by Gustav Press. His poetry has appeared in Canada, The US and Ireland. Previous work featured in issue 36 of The Blue Nib.


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