by Peter Dreyer (March 2023)

 Vädersolstavlan, Jacob Elbfas (after Urban målare), 1636



Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star. —Thoreau, Walden

Locked in a quantum-physical embrace
Waves waltz in this hallucinated space,
Light, here or in  some other place.
If it’s not now, it’s at a later date
That we sundogs will spot our fate.

Franz Schubert died in 1828,
long before this present state.
His wondrous music spills from my radio
Today, and not those centuries ago—
Another time, time doesn’t know.

Perched in their places passing far
From Sol Invictus, sun and fulcrum star,
Those in the peanut gallery conflate
The two, a cheery dumb hurrah—
Impatiently, they cannot wait.



My eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me. —“The Quartermaster’s Store,” World War I soldiers’ song

Sheep may pasture, graze and thrive
Complacent in the watchful shepherd’s sight,
Though he will surely cut their throats one night.
That final act is yet to be;
As for now they sport alive,
From cain’t see to cain’t see.*

*An Appalachian expression.


Table of Contents


Peter Richard Dreyer is a South African American writer. He is the author of A Beast in View (London: André Deutsch), The Future of Treason (New York: Ballantine), A Gardener Touched with Genius: The Life of Luther Burbank (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan; rev. ed., Berkeley: University of California Press; new, expanded ed., Santa Rosa, CA: Luther Burbank Home & Gardens), Martyrs and Fanatics: South Africa and Human Destiny (New York: Simon & Schuster; London: Secker & Warburg), and most recently the novel Isacq (Charlottesville, VA: Hardware River Press, 2017).

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


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