A nailing of signs to the tree of life,
reminding us of the need
to stay clear of the sights
of shotgun English,
and to learn to walk swiftly,
without a sound...
truth, trust, betroth words
from one root, "to be constant,"
"stand like a tree,"
...and to beware of that other sound
to ugly to utter, "a riveting of suffering to a..."
It is true: the only truth we can hang
on the tree of life is that truth
will not be nailed to a tree.
A hundred years ago,
on top of Mount Adams,
Mount Saint Helens,
anyone would have said, that
50 years ago, trout and
salmon still swam the entire
length of the Rhine, from
North Sea to the Alps;
The last were seen in 1958.
30,000,000 people depend on
this same water too polluted to support
the life-cycles of these noble fish.
First the forests are cut down,
followed by flooding, forcing
us to further break the natural flow
with dams and straight channels,
which in turn cause more
erosion, and more flooding.
In the Alps, of the 13,000
kilometers of high country
waterways, only 900 still
There is no dam between these
rivers and the great Columbia.
What is clearly H2O in the laboratory
is at the source of the high mountain spring
somehow closer to the pure mystery of life.
One wonders: What does the water say?
After an interval
of twenty years, a pound
of DDT in the soil
will have, they say,
become 1/2 a pound
of DDT in the soil.
For the mathematician,
cutting a quantity in half
can go on indefinitely.
How the Earth measures
these things, no one knows.
And yet, one wonders, what is
half of a mean, bitter thought?
How long does it take
to sound out completely
without a trace
in the heart 's house of another?
: it took a thousand years of sometimes
magnificent, sometimes doubtful, science
to learn to see Nature as a machine, and
more recently, a very sophisticated kind
of machine, called a system.
Then suddenly, some say the Earth is alive again.
That is: perhaps, as a hypothesis, which is a
thought or theoryan unsure ground, if you willthat
our thinking comes to"stand upon."
Earth, such a magnificent sound,
carrying us every time we utter it into
unknown depths and spaces...
And now a goddess, a new name? Do we need it?
Just think of the all the hard thoughtwork of
proving to others what to some may very well
Something, surely, demonstrates itself in
the sound of that word itself: Earth
it has to have come to us from somewhere, surely,
somewhere very, very alive.
HUMAN GENOME PROJECT
It is true:
Changing but one note
in a Beethoven symphony
might destroy the whole;
studying the same
note in isolation
will not show us
: when a machine is given the
attributes of life, or
: when a living being is given
the attributes of a machine.
INSIDE / OUTSIDE
The shape of the Universe?
an inward turning doughnut, an
expanding acorn, an exploding,
convoluted, multiple helix...
No other question takes thought
more quickly to the boundaries
of thought itself.
One wonders...is there a thought
which is outside thought and therefore
sees the shape of consciousness as a whole?
BOOK OF LIFE
Recipe for a witch's brew
mix: the desire to know
every detail in every detail,
: the thought which
says that this is possible.
Is there a complete telephone book
of the Universe?
How many connectionsunexpected calls,
might there be between all the numbers?
Do you or I know ourselves so completely?
We shape the world and the world shapes us:
Twenty years ago...
prepackaged, plastic sounds,
all the lively features lobed off
in the filter of mediocrity;
unnoticed, transformed into
without the long rows
of cereal boxes, detergents,
garbage bags and entertainment guides,
having come full circle,
now standing firmly
A: a way of bringing people
and relevant, new, meaning
B: a channel through which it is
easier and easier to say
more and more things which
are less and less worth knowing;
C: a network of trails and
paths that spans continents,
as we move on foot
from center to center