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‘…we find poetry, as it were, substantiated and realized in nature: yea, nature itself disclosed to us...as at once the poet and the poem!’ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This poem is from my work on genetics. It attempts to explore how the creations of DNA - a chemical code, a script - are poems in themselves. Even the simplest petal or fly wing is the result of billions of years of evolution: the world is made up of 'poems. Creation itself is a poem. I wanted to celebrate the spectacular results of Evolution. Even the most humble creation in the natural world is truly a kind of miraculous and fabulous happening.
I explored the human genome - the human genetic code - for five years - and could have carried on forever.

Everything is a poem (1)

Gillian_ferguson_photo_high_resby Gillian K Ferguson02 Jul 2013

In the work of the world, everything is a poem;
slow petal hinges closing the drowsy flower -

expressed on evening’s darkening page -
white smudge, humble blurred blue halo,

surviving past her last consciousness of light,
that woke the flower first, always, from earth;

her simple sugar succumbed to chocolately fug,
chloroform sweetness of the honeysuckle drug -

poppy-eyed in struggling dusk, eyelids drooping,
gathering her own small cup of warm darkness.

An owl flash - small Pagan angel annunciating night,
his gorgeous white savagery of spread wings preying;

incandescent red star of dying leaf, lain smouldering
all day in autumn’s gold grate, among burning frost -

luminous also, one feather, but moon-dipped once,
still dripping silver liquid - losing skeletal theories

of sky, motion, dexterity; essential bird-part lost,
discarded involuntarily by a shooting orange fox,

in a field haunted by embroidered butterflies -
too blue to accept extinction, iridescence’s end,

after such time spinning sky fibre into wings -
aesthetic and physical understanding of gravity.

Still a poem, this ghost-blue feather - bedraggled,
without blood or whatever fuels white birds in air;

root-clue to wing, sky-clue of flight, symbolic emblem
of the bird, softened from bone, fashioned from skin -

still wound in unzipped hooks, coiled symphonics -
just audible from the crumbling chemicals, ecstatic

even in ruin; such stores of ecstasy in a single feather
cell - songs never sung again - lonely part of a flying

whole - no longer with necessary mechanisms,
connections; but remembering to the last atom -

telling the brown ground-mouth how it is up there,
still singing of it as the last shining molecule falls

apart, back to stardust - becoming one noise -
principle of flight re-furled, laid down, stored

by a generous Universe dreaming molecular
schemes; the symbiotic pattern of the feather.

The foolish moth crashes unconscious, light-
casualty - bumping snow-flakely into desire,

stunned - his wings are sails paddling earth -
legs, stick-wings; he feels like us, struggling

arms outstretched, being planes, birds,
exalting in wind, sunshine, freedom -

how we spread our wings when joy presses
that scripted bone button, still written there,

instructions between the shoulder-blades -
fossil-wings, de-feathered stumps, reflexive

sprouting, though there is nothing to see;
except maybe on summer backs of naked

children playing. The moth is up, stumbling,
soon gulped by darkness; his doomed flight/

near death/survival is a poem - incorporating
tiger-name, Bonsai red Viking horns, burned-

paper wings; more stanzas in his small moth poem,
that will be written all night across wild black sky -

and coiled in him, expressed from cocoon to wing-
dust fallen - scrabbled here, his bright brown mark

on earth. I could make a moth if I were God -
by blowing on this invisible scrambled script,

make it speak again, more moth poems, on and on;
but rubbed in my thumb and forefinger, just stays

moth-dust, inert brown shimmer; nothing - no moths
spring from my fingers’ frictional electricity, except

the idea of moths - but that’s the start – even
this mothy dust-smear glimmering with intent.

Is there anything alive that does not shine, or
was part of being alive, has gleaming residue;

until death switches back the master-light -
to the mysterious off position; life’s darkness

of possible endings, new breeds, light species.
That little flower keeps luminescing in gloom,

though it has never known a kiss -
who knows if bees came, rubbed

her throat, gathered her pollen, sugars;
if she is mother-flower, floral spinster -

now, I kiss her - kin, sister,
to become part of her poem

this evening - mark, celebrate such union -
which the Genome now shows was written

always in the world, but never read by us.
Our kiss, she enjoys, faint muffled sighing

like the voice of snowflakes; her bluish-white
shine glimmering now above moth-shimmer -

even this conjunction, beauty enough for one night.
But for this night lyric, I gather more lines because

everything is a poem - even my own white hand,
also luminous in darkness, reaching to her neck -

swan of my spine, corn-curl hair, crustacean
pucker in limpet lips; the consummate poem

of eyes speckled silver at night by star reflection -
organic mirror of the galaxy, black pupil of space;

Bonsai Milky Way clustered with promising spirals,
quieted a moment to concentrate on smaller poems -

beautifying leaves in the greater global poem;
universal work begun when time hatched too.

Reciprocally, her DNA altering my whole poem –
write in me too, small flower, thin-lipped, kissed;

rhyme our meeting, touch, with dark verses of white -
drawn from our communal absorption of summer light,

perfume of sweet floral pheromone; taste of pollen -
there is nothing I bring that is not love, our language.

Moth and owl of the Night Poem speak it too -
the honeysuckle, butterfly, orange fox, feather;

still - among the murmur of crumbling spirals,
the red leaf burning a star-hole in the Universe.

Everything is a poem - poem among poems,
greater, grander works, interlinked, growing;

globes of poetry, sphere around sphere
of interwoven layers - interconnected

phrases, words - on and on, in and in,
within, beyond; out, out further until

atmosphere, gases, stars – that stark silver
poetry of stars - austere, musical, polished

to the bone; poem skeletons, master-works
in exhibiting darkness - beyond light, after

spectrum - child rainbow to full colour;
where there is no one light of morning,

no flower or moth; where the orange fox
does not run or uproot the silver feather -

angel-owl proclaim; to the ultimate poem,
mother-poem - original poem - the Word.