Hendrix jamming at the edge of volcanic expansion in the ‘60s skips ahead to 2039 night-swimming through the fossil-flamed continuum. As crow wings open and close over more than we know of loss or gain, the collaborative intensity of cells revolves around food enough for the billions of us alive.
Where the job’s been taking you, fresh-baked bread already exists, as a chance to talk arcs between poles. A muffled hand-bell can be ringing in the ancestral belly of mercy, when being in the present multiplies more into being.
How far back does the mind go? When earliest cells began to collaborate on the species, how did they decide? As spiral determination asserts impulse along meridians, the body’s shape circulates with ancestral information made contemporary in communications between cells.
Could instrumentation of a high order counter the chaos of runaway clashes of paradigm? Doesn’t transnational profit billow over the run-off scoured fertilized seas? Won’t international urbanity be flying in on a shoestring? Does the shock left over from birth help preserve vulnerability?
If the eggshell Earth in 2039 isn’t lit with a renaissance, the sun around here will be a burst or two harsher, with fewer flocks in atmospheric gases. But the lightning in museums will still be coming from spiral engines of cells.
Can being in the present multiply further? When whole numbers stand face to face with the night sky, greater needs than birth will be dreaming up tough lessons for anyone who’ll live here after us, anyone trying to trust her ancestral inheritance of cells.
JAMES GRABILL’s poems have appeared in numerous periodicals such as The Oxonian Review (UK), Stand (UK), Magma (UK), Toronto Quarterly (CAN), Harvard Review (US), Terrain (US), Seneca Review (US), Urthona (UK), kayak (US), Plumwood Mountain (AUS), Caliban (US), Spittoon (US), Weber: The Contemporary West (US), The Common Review (US), and Buddhist Poetry Review (US). His books include Poem Rising Out of the Earth (1994) and An Indigo Scent after the Rain (2003). Wordcraft of Oregon will publish his new project of environmental prose poems, Sea-Level Nerve: Book I this summer, Book II next summer. He teaches ‘systems thinking’ relative to sustainability and is available for readings and workshops.