poignant imagery of the famous British poet D. H. Lawrence should
give us all pause to ourselves reflect as only Homo Sapiens can
on the beauty of all the diverse forms that life on earth manifests.
never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
Without ever having felt sorry for itself.
can imagine, in some otherworld
Primeval-dumb, far back
In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,
Humming-birds raced down the avenues.
Before anything had a soul,
While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,
This little bit chipped off in brilliance
And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.
I believe there were no flowers, then,
In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.
I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.
Probably he was big
As mosses, and little lizards, they say were once big.
Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.
We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of
Luckily for us.
D. H. Lawrence
Birds, Beasts and Flowers
millions & millions of years I lived as a mineral.
Then I died and became a plant.
millions & millions of years I lived as a plant.
Then I died and became an animal.
millions & millions of years I lived as an animal.
Then I died and became a man.
what have I ever lost by dying?
like the tide coming in. Year on year, fat, flowing grain, as
it had always grown. We harvested clockwise, spiralling home over
undulations of common land till nothing remained but a hub of
stalks where the spirit of life was said to lurk.
childless couples were offered the scythe - the men invited to
pocket the seed, the women to plait dolls from the last sheaf.
a Spix's macaw flapped from the blade, that singular bird of the
new world, one of a kind. A rare sight. And a sign, being tail-feathers
tapering out of view, being
lost in the sun, being gone.
Armitage, February 2003