January 17, 2004

On crumbling clouds of stone...

Dave T has posted a poem inspired by the Northridge Quake.

...I was browsing through the essays of Montaigne not long ago,
Reclining in the shadow of the century-old oak that shades my home,
Half drowsing in the warmth of a hazy winter day
In the city of the angels, where the sun first strikes the Ring of Fire.
We cannot hear the music of the spheres, he wrote,
Because our hearing sense is deafened,
Like the smith among the hammers of his forge,
By continual exposure to that marvelous harmony...


...If you could scale a few more rungs upon that cosmic ladder,
Growing 'til the stratosphere lapped round your chest,
Your heartbeat once a century, your breaths the measure of millenia�
Then you would just begin to hear the song of Earth
It rises from her iron core, engendered by the almost stellar heat
Of actinide decay, the life-bestowing legacy of dying stars...

I like it. Putting things that are more-or-less scientific into poetry or any sort of artwork is very ambitious, and is an easy way to make yourself look foolish. Erasmus Darwin could have taken some lessons from Dave.

Charlene and I were in the big quake of '89, and this rings too true: You'd see that all of us have built our lives, the castles of our dreams,
On crumbling clouds of stone...

Posted by John Weidner at January 17, 2004 2:35 PM
Weblog by John Weidner