Ode to Nothing

Sorrow makes children of us all—
the wisest knows nothing.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson


When scientists tell us
Atoms are mostly
Made of nothing,
They are speaking
As priests charged
With a deep mystery:

How nothing holds
The universe together;
How nothing
Is the secret force
At the heart of it all.

In the old days, theologians
Asked: Is there an angel
Of nothing
Among the heavenly hosts?
The answer is No.

Nor does an angel
Of nothing dwell in hell.

Nothing is the only
Angel and cannot
Rise or fall.

All of us surround
The angel of nothing,
Whizzing our winged
Elliptical circuits of worship
Like electrons
Orbiting a nucleus.
With our restless fly-buzz
We create
The material world.
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