Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Variations on a Theme Attributed to Galileo (with Apologies to Burns)

E pur si muove!


Still it
moves. Still

and still

it moves.
It moves

and still
is still

and yet
it moves!


The past is not
because it's gone.

The future is not
because it hasn't.

And the present is not
because it can't sit still.


We came home to find
a giant-eared mouse,
desert indigene,
nesting in a drawer
nicely located

under the counters
near kitchen shelves
of dry goods mostly
open for taking--
a mouse paradise.

Blind, pink specks of pups
wriggled in their crib's
cozy nursery
of pink fibreglass
wall insulation.

Hard black seeds of turds
speckled the counter
by the cereal
boxes, and the couch
by the computer.

A big-eared shadow
flitted from kitchen,
over open floor,
to the firewood box
and back again, thrice,

once we'd disturbed them
by opening drawers
and spotting the nest.
She was wee, sleekit,
and timorous, but

she was not cowering.
She did not appear
to mourn best-laid schemes.
suggested she act,

and so she acted,
first by laying claim
to our empty house,
spectacular find,
immune to ravens,

immune to weather,
empty of other
mice of any kind,
with castles of food
and towers of drawers.

Then, when we prior
occupants returned
and surprised her nest,
she went back to work,
rearranging things.

By the next morning,
she dared a bold raid
on a dropped backpack
she'd smelled hid a bag
of almonds inside--

in blazing sunlight,
in the living room,
staring straight at us,
one insouciant ear
rotated our way.

Ah. "'Gang aft agley,'
my rosy red ass,"
she seemed to suggest,
as if daring us
to toss our own plans

and start something new,
without wringing hands
or writing dour poems
on crisis and fate.
We too have to move

from here in ten days,
drag our pink baby
to our makeshift nest.
We can and we will.
To move is to be.


It moves, and everything is naught,
and yet it is, because naught moves.

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