Tag Archives: Nature

Domestic revolution

I have a theory
that the exact amount
your brain had to move

as a child
is the exact amount
it moves now

and so as a child
if you had to spin quickly
to be safe

or become noticed
you will spin similarly
in your adult head

and be required
to deal with these revolutions.
This will be exhausting

cause uncertainty and result
in a poor allocation
of your emotional resources.

This must be what her problem is
or alternately and long ago
my own mother ignored me also.


The Way of the Scallywag

There is a law that pertains to everything
and to everything there is a law
whether it is a thing set by nature
and is for its own part self-evident
or instead brought forth by a man or men unknown
and put upon us for our own good or theirs.

Nature says that the bee shall sting
for its own protection
and the mountains shall fall over time
as a reminder that to all things
only impermanence is ever given.

Man says there shall be rules
which shall be codified on paper or stone
and will cause punishment when unobserved
as a caution to others who might themselves so consider.

He that is in the debt of sleep
will die for the want of it
and he that will drown
will do so be he rich or poor
But he that is poor
may be caused to drown against his will
and at the want of others
for the good of all as an example
or so they will say.

Laws will be posted
on doors and on the foreheads of the unaware
who will walk with a vacant look
that by its appearance will cause others
to keep away and cause children to run
for these are understandings that even by the very young
must be understood for the good of all
or so it will be said.

There will be times of change
and even uncertainty where that which is true
is then said not to be true and that which was reviled
must now be embraced but there will always be
the law.

And it will come at times to some men
that these laws appear not to be designed
for their best common interest
and they will if not rise against them
at least put forth the thought
that others might also so consider
but these men more than any others
will find the consequences of their questioning
unpleasant and likely quick to fall upon them
unless in an occasional turn of time
they are proven not only right
but lucky in circumstance and then
be borne aloft and given their own pen
to write laws to their liking
an activity it is not certain
they are well-suited for
but still.

Throughout out all of this
throughout all of history as we know and count it
nature watches indifferently
for while we at some junctures talk of caring for nature
nature does not care.

Nature thinks not of the unjustly executed
the cruelty of famine or the rape-seed that dies in the field.
The wind does not whisper nor do the seas conspire
the galaxy does not ponder nor do the stars look up or down
or even much roundabout
despite our hoping
for hope is but a construct of the scallywag
and we are all scallywags and always have been
and will be and must be
for to be so is our nature.


On Pelican Reef

Pelicans in pairs
prehistoric, with great sagging bills
like canvas bladders of beer refilling
fly in almost perfect formation

black leader circling once
and then heading straight down
the beachline here, very low
avoiding radar and unafraid of us.

At the last they wheel up steeply
swerving left, ascending to allow gravity
its killing work, they stall and turn
point guards shifting hips and then fall

no more than a foot apart, yellow dead eyes
ringed, certain, wings disappearing
into the stream’s ideal line.
In the beat before impact

their bodies bulk, beaks opening
into factories of the new death
their shadows darkening the surface
world and then they righten

dredging through their catch
siphoning into digestion the unfortunates
and all of this life and death happens
no more than ten feet from where we sit

agawk, both man and child
at the beauty of nature’s design
here in the non-existent surf
of a matchless Caribbean morning.

[Mahoe Bay, Virgin Gorda 2005]

The Regret Dog

Old man, bent back and body
pulled by a dog his same size (longly)
crosses me on the street, cursing
slumped down, angry
somehow looking for a fight
but his perfect Shepherd (in all ways)
keeps him keeping on, one foot in front of the other.

Already past me he twists his twisted neck
in another swift rictus of fuck off
and then on he staggers
leaving me to wonder where a dog
learns that and where a dog like that
can be had and for how much?

Most teenagers could use one.
All drunk drivers.
Boys who promise to pull out.
Girls who promise they took that pill.
Men in front of children
in the moment of pulling back a fist.
A hand against a head against a wall.
A razor amongst fingers released.

The regret dog knows us just a moment better.


I am the Scottish nanny
of my own sweet self,
a parsimonious ninny
(for that’s a word nannies
favor for those they barely love).

I collect objects emptied
from their previous purpose,
useful jars and boxes,
already anyway purchased
and now mine for the doing.

Or perhaps just for the owning,
a stash or stack in evidence
as to my ability to provide
and count in some number.
My alms against the poor.

Eventually this self-satisfaction
meets the balance of my nature
(as the child confronts its father)
and in a swoop I free myself
from this other by throwing it all away.

For in tidiness and its emptiness
there is another form of control
disguised in light as freedom
while this same man kills pantry moths
each morning before heading for the sun.