The Ninety Second Journal of Sharon Christa McCauliff

When it comes to glory one should not anticipate.

That is a clairvoyance which can only diminish us.

And the inevitable, it arrives, it comes mocking,

despite of our protestations: resplendent or shabbily,

gold or glitter, or burlap; in plasticized coveralls.

But if you hold your breath too long you’ll miss the fireworks;

and your eardrums, if you fail to obey orders,

may burst from the pressure, and that will be the end of it.

So listen children. Be quick. Your seat belts secured

in the third notch. No two ways about it. There are technical events,

you see, that the generalist cannot hope to understand.

And we are the heirs of it: that almost incomprehensible expansion of information.


Those children filed

into the auditorium,

picked at pigtails.

It was idle time between essays. Whatever

one sees, experiences, even a soapy drama on the telly,

promises to be a task of some discomforting magnitude.

Counting backwards is difficult

for dyslexics, and also for patients

with rapidly increasing

intracranial pressure.


How long will it be

before the ocean swims into existence?

How can I face them, say

I have learned nothing but what I had known previously?

I shall tell tales

of star beasts: unicorn-like, tyrannosaurian;

but who am I

to record the hues of atmosphere

when a computer can rattle

off one hundred aspects of the color green

and give them a name, each one

as distinctive as an attribute of the godhead?

Thus the computerized robotic machinery flies

into the sun, eagles its way

through the tail of Halley’s Comet,

ogles, and records, the moons

and the rings of Uranus.

With each triumph, the man/wolf creature

settles back on his haunches,

and howls for a more adequate dinner.

In a French courtroom

defendants kidnap the judge and the jury.

When the sun reaches

a certain special point in its maturity

the ionosphere becomes fluorescent.

Dew evaporates. Two people kiss, disappear,

and the molecules, rising

independently of their neighbors,

cause the mist to clear, and chemicals

in the engine to ignite: a magnificent occasion, a holiday.

Unforgettable, the flair of it is like a sunspot,

setting fire to the ocean;

a midnight spectacular.

I can feel it rumble…..