Friday, May 17, 2024

Each After Its Own Fashion

Actually, the diversity
Of the orbiting wanderers
Around this one, rather plain star,

Hint Earth’s less strange in being strange
Than Earth’s human descendants think—
Our habit’s to draw the ledger

In two columns, living bodies
Or bodies with no signs of life,
In which case, Earth’s in one column

And all the rest, as far as known,
In the other. So Earth looks strange.
But does Io resemble Mars,

Mars Venus, Venus Jupiter,
Jupiter Mercury, so on?
Beyond small categories—

Rocky, icy, gassy—maybe
Two or three distinct worlds in each—
None of them have much in common.

Humanity, likewise, looks strange,
Listing species with ratcheting
Culture in one column, species

Of any other kind elsewhere.
But the rule could be here, Titan
Isn’t Saturn, lobsters aren’t crows

Aren’t tri-symbiotic lichen.
It could be the norm to be weird,
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

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