Language Abhors a Vacuum

You say, “An empty room” - my mind
Sees skirting boards, a light bulb, dust…
That’s how it goes; when we use words,
All Nothings gain a Something crust.

Yet humans have a stubborn urge
To get at utter Nothingness,
And grasp for the unsayable
With various kinds of unsuccess.

Gaunt bright-eyed mystics long to find
A Nothing words can never reach,
But when they’ve glimpsed their zero state
Can only tell us so in speech.

The modernist who hates the cosy
Rips a hole within his text,
But the more loose ends he leaves
The more a weaving mind connects.

Our language is a social thing,
Joins us, and steers us from the void
Till thoughts of Nothing come to nought
(Which leaves philosophers annoyed,

But Mr Practical’s unfussed;
He speaks the things that can be said,
And maybe cheerfully points out
That we’ll know Nothing when we’re dead.)

George Simmers

This poem was composed after hearing a lecture on Re...creation from No...thing by Rob Pope.

If you've any comments on this poem, George Simmers would be pleased to hear from you.