To contemplate the future
he sits down on a rock
with a sundial on his lap.

Dipping his feet in to the water,
he allows the golden koi
to nibble on his toes.

For a long time he looks at the still water,
and sees no stir brimming on the surface.
He skims a few slim stones, counting bounces,
a competition with himself.

Inhaling deeply the cool sweet air,
he sips a draught of sarsaparilla.

He takes pleasure in the haunting fragrance
of the scent of lilies, lilacs, and radiant roses
in front of a cluster of forget-me-nots.

This is the good life!

Nostradamus figures the transcendentalists
must be on to something, since others remain perplexed
and deeply vexed by materialistic ennui.

In awe of a flock of overhead geese
flying in V formation, he’s suddenly surrounded
by a cascade of dark clouds, descending
under the primrose sky.

While studying the light and shadows
on his sundial, he hears: “The Yiddish are coming!”
He fears the soldiers of the Inquisition
must be on their way.

As his tremulous hands reach up to the sky,
he proclaims his latest prognostication:

“All I can see is catastrophic calamity
for the future of humanity!”