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Darwin’s study

August 19, 2013

Come, come, into
Papa’s study, and
we don’t need to ask you
to hush your voice
because it’ll hush itself
when you see the
of dead finches,
barnacles, earthworms,
drawings upon drawings
upon books upon books
upon jars upon jars
up on shelves and tables.
Just don’t touch anything,
’cause Papa’s not wild
about that.

And when you tire of staring,
it’s outside for us again,
and don’t worry at all
about your voice now—
Papa won’t mind.
‘Cause silence is
the absence of life, and
that’s death, and
life is the
          shout as we run, the
     piano music, the
hum of barnacles as
     they cling
               for dear life, the
   slurp of bees for nectar, the
      soft flap of butterflies,
  the munch of earthworms
               under our feet, echoing
          upwards to the tips of
            the trees to ease their
     worries over good soil
               continuing, and the
     robins overhear this
to use
     ecolocation to
     find those worms
     for breakfast.

Ecolocation, like that used by
  dolphins following the
          Beagle following the warm
     Pacific winds following the
          Galapagos tortoise,
               who knows a shortcut
back here to our good Papa
Darwin’s Down House.

For home may be
where the heart is,
but our minds can
fly to island after island,
even while our toes
feel the cool garden soil.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2013 5:24 pm

    A most delightful poem…one of my favorite lines was “life is the shout as we run…”…just wonderful!

  2. August 19, 2013 7:33 pm

    Lovely. Thank you. 🙂

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