Sunday, November 28, 2010

Poem for Sunday and National Geographic Geckos

A group of girls from Minnesota or black mascara
By Maureen Owen

Not trees trace so             just kids we hung
slim buckets    of chokecherries from our wrists

in neighboring galaxies    Giant Star Factories take control
composed of cold hydrogen gas and dust

7,000             light years from earth
slender-toed geckos                   step onto the moon

On the road between 2 baptisms and a shower they rang
to say       shallow water          the mouths drop open

not where you stand but how long you can
stand standing there
in constant hypothesis

the trees are passersby
damp light
flat orange moon
velvet navy-blue sky

fire berries
from here we see the beautifully attired drive tough Ford pickups

the oncoming
organizing principle
brushed out

the dancers take turns leaping over the bonfire       into
Qué pasa USA?

haircuts in London are really pretty backward
London—you are definitely not going to have a manicure there!
in LA toes must match the hands or else just don’t leave the house
in NY it’s more brunette

Outside       a refrigerator          floats       in the blackness shiny amid sharp stars

& the turtle who holds up the world          holds up
the world


We went downtown on Saturday to the National Geographic Museum, which has an exhibit called Geckos: Tails to Toepads (sponsored in part, unsurprisingly, by Geico). From the web site, we couldn't tell how many live geckos were in the exhibit, and I was only expecting a few, but there were dozens from all over the world, including some genetically engineered species. We had only put an hour's worth of quarters in our meter but ended up having to go back and add some more so we could see the Turpan frog-eyed geckos and and gold dust day geckos, then pay a quick visit to the Wild Music: Songs & Sounds of Life exhibit (with everything from natural musical instruments to whale songs) and the Simply Beautiful photography exhibit, plus a roomful of photos by presidential photographers covering Eisenhower through Obama. We had thought about going to the Phillips to see a photography exhibit there, too, but even younger son the photographer balked at going to an art museum at that point, so we headed home to take walks before it got dark.

A fan-fingered gecko at the National Geographic Museum shows off the appendages for which it is named.

Day geckos -- like these giant day geckos that were apparently Geico's model for their mascot -- have no eyelids, but dilate their pupils in the sun.

Yet this blanco leopard gecko -- a morphed albino species of leopard gecko -- apparently does have eyelids.

This is another genetically engineered species, a striped leopard gecko. I'm not sure whether the hybrids were created to try to produce healthier pets or just for variety, as with certain dog and cat breeds.

Madagascar's peacock day gecko is the most colorful of all the species on display at National Geographic...

...though the more widespread, nocturnal Tokay geckos get the most interesting decoration in their enclosure.

The crested geckos fold themselves over branches at amazing angles.

And a pair of skunk geckos hang out in their temporary home up near the warm lights.

I finally finished reading Sepulchre, which was a big disappointment; Kate Mosse wrapped up the past and present soppy romances just as expected, but after suggesting through the entire novel that the secret of the Languedoc really has to do with Visigoth treasure, and indeed that the discoveries that fueled Holy Blood, Holy Grail were fabricated just to distract people from it, she dropped that aspect of the storyline completely! I am, however, delighted to report that the Maryland Terrapins beat NC State, which should guarantee them a bowl game invitation. We didn't watch the entire game (and I was trying to look away so as not to jinx it, since my teams have played much better this season when I haven't seen them). After dinner we watched Merlin's "Queen of Hearts" and "The Sorcerer's Shadow," both of which I enjoyed very much -- I really like Arthur/Gwen, I love disguised!Merlin, and I must admit that I find selfish!Morgana so much more interesting than sweet Morgana and conflicted Morgana of the first couple of seasons. (Don't lecture me about how mean she is to Gwen; Uther is far, far worse than she is in every way that matters to every character I care about.)

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