~ for Tony Hoagland on October 23, 2018
The world just lost a pixel
on its big ball-shaped screen.
One of my favorite points of light
in the ever-dimming age of reason.
And if we do indeed need our poets
as much as we do our top engineers
and environmental scientists, then
today was a deadly meteor strike.
The earth shook, though not everyone
felt it—we are dying by tiny degrees.
But Tony kept me cool when my head
got hot, warm when my heart went cold.
He was a precision punch in a room
full of loud, poorly-aimed shotguns.
Poems with life in the crosshairs.
Wit that forced a double take.
And so it is that our trail-weary hope,
walking into the future’s darknesses,
watched his guiding flame flicker today,
making the way ahead much harder to see.