Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Poem for Wednesday

Address: the Archaens, One Cell Creatures
By Pattiann Rogers

Although most are totally naked
and too scant for even the slightest
color and although they have no voice
that I've ever heard for cry or song, they are,
nevertheless, more than mirage, more
than hallucination, more than falsehood.

They have confronted sulfuric
boiling black sea bottoms and stayed,
held on under ten tons of polar ice,
established themselves in dense salts
and acids, survived eating metal ions.
They are more committed than oblivion,
more prolific than stars.

Far too ancient for scripture, each
one bears in its one cell one text--
the first whit of alpha, the first
jot of bearing, beneath the riling
sun the first nourishing of self.

Too lavish for saints, too trifling
for baptism, they have existed
throughout never gaining girth enough
to hold a firm hope of salvation.
Too meager in heart for compassion,
too lean for tears, less in substance
than sacrifice, not one has ever
carried a cross anywhere.

And not one of their trillions
has ever been given a tombstone.
I've never noticed a lessening
of light in the ceasing of any one
of them. They are more mutable
than mere breathing and vanishing,
more mysterious than resurrection,
too minimal for death.


I spent a lovely day with Dementordelta watching Due South and eating hummus, pita, cheese, crackers, and pie. We were total slugs except when we got up to feed the cats, and it was very enjoyable -- Paul Gross goes very well with Gournay cheese, spicy tahini, and meringue, though I suspect Paul Gross goes very well with pretty much everything. My kids are still in Williamsburg with my parents -- older son apparently has an upset stomach but they are otherwise all having a good time -- so it was pretty quiet around here otherwise.

Dinosaur skeletons from the Chinasaurs exhibit are displayed with the Baltimore skyline out the big hall windows at the Maryland Science Center.

This is the largest display of authentic Chinese dinosaurs ever assembled outside China, including fossils never before seen in the U.S.

My kids are nowhere near as tall as a standing Mamenchisaur from the late Jurassic.

The bones of an intact Yunnanosaurus from the early Jurassic, and the bones as found in situ.

An oviraptor -- an unfair name, since it was once believed that the dinosaur stole and ate other dinosaur eggs, while it is now understood that it sat on its own eggs much like a bird.

A velociraptor from Liaoning Province's Cretaceous Period, which likely had feathers...

...though the animated robotic velociraptor does not.

It's neat to see the animatronic dinosaurs move, though.

Paul made chicken parmesan for dinner, then we watched Warehouse 13, though I was distracted burning a DVD and have nothing to say about it, then a public television special on the eruption of Krakatoa and subsequent tsunami that killed tens of thousands of people in Indonesia in 1883. Very interesting but rather a downer, and I missed Jon Stewart for it...hoping Colbert is funny!

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