Sunday, June 8, 2014

Marilyn McEntyre: "Biology: Course Review"

If you forget what axons do,
or how a virus invades a cell,
remember this—

that light becomes food.
That the seasons rhyme,
a different word each time

turning soil into living song.
That all things work together.
Even death. Even decay.

That this is the way
of the world we got: what is given
grows by grace and care

and knows what it needs.
That life is strong, and precarious,
full of devices and desires.

That what we hold in common
may not be owned. Control
is costly. Close attention

is the reverence due
whatever lives and moves,
mutant and quick and clever.

That our neighbors—
the plankton, the white pine,
the busy nematodes—

serve us best
in reciprocal gratitude:
what they receive, they give.

The way the heart accepts
what the vein delivers and sends it on,
again. Again.

"Biology: Course Review" by Marilyn McEntyre. Published on the poet's website (date unknown). © Marilyn McEntyre.  

Art credit: "Veins in the Body," manipulated photograph by vonvanity (originally color). Caption: "some effects using the trees outside my house."


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