Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nature: Ruthlessness and Beauty

Poem of the Day:
"Aubade with Eggs Breaking" by Dorothy Barresi
American Fanatics

I am going to post Barresi's entire poem without comment, but not because I am extremely tired or perhaps a little drunk (see yesterday's post). Rather, Barresi's poem is complex. Really complex. It embodies both the beauty of nature (see the opening stanzas) and the ruthlessness that by being inherent in nature, she classifies as most natural (think the natural order of species, survival of the fittest, etc.).

This is not a cop out. She just puts it best.

Aubade with Eggs Breaking

Imagine, love, the sea turtles lying on shore
pulsing from themselves

the soft-hard eggs,
pliant as a baby's skull, that glow slightly

as though they had been pressed through immaculate doorlight,
then abandoned, and so,

covered with sand
until the treadwheel hoists,

the weights, wheels, gears of the birth world
grind and strike the phantom pins

that spark the tides together,
no corporate malfeasance or reveries of regret,

no dimwitted democracies,
the earth purposed by a single ray of light.

It is not too much to see—is it?—
how the congeries of the living

convene even in the switchblade oat grass
hiding the nest

(a pleasant ruse—
only one in twenty eggs survive)

for the ancien régime of the dunes
and the use to which

nature is put, naturing,
keeping the hapless going

come raptors squalls tourists and the ant's
scurrilous attention.

Imagine all this persistence, love,
for we shall never see it ourselves.

We are in the lifeboat trapped battering oarless
just beyond the swells,

exhausted by our good manners in deciding, by a show of hands,
who shall be eaten next, and who
shall do the eating.

A Poem A Day Audrey


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