Nothing There

In the command center, conscious of light,
but surrounded by darkness,
chill desk beneath my arms, a pen
that will not write sets in my hand.
The pen is fine. It’s my hand has no
communication to the soul outpost
on my emotional front. I stretch every nerve.
But there’s nothing there.
Nothing there.

I send out messengers up the line
to gauge the situation, scout for movement.
My orders are simple, good or bad,
scan for heartbeats, smiles, tears,
any rustle in the trees, birdsongs, sighs.
Then write a report of your observations.
“All’s quiet,” they say.
“There’s Nothing there.”
Nothing there.

“Okay. Pull back, then,” I signal, because
extending the lines of communication
into enemy territory without support
weakens a force. But they do not answer.
Not a breath, a thought, nor a dream
from the soul horizon. So I write the report,
because even Nothing is something.
Today’s observation:
Nothing there.

©Joseph Hesch 2012

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3 thoughts on “Nothing There

  1. An incredible piece of poetry. The first two lines gave me pause. I had to read them three times. They are two lines of poetry that express a beautiful insight. I hope readers ponder them. If they do, they’ll see what I see.

    This piece is an example why I love reading Joe’s prose poetry. It would behoove others to do likewise. An incredible piece of poetry, Joe. Bravo! Bravo.

  2. This is the most creative writing about the inability to write that I have read. Thanks for the experience and the smile. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about you being unable to write. Bravo. xox

  3. I like the mood of this one, Joe, and where you’ve placed it… in the war zone. I suppose that’s the way it feels as are a dedicated writer, unlike me. That you can dredge something up from the dark depths of one of those nihilistic moments, is a tribute to your talent.

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