Poetry | August 19, 2021

I Hear the Continents Are Drifting Like Great Granite Pirates

 

I hear the continents are drifting like great granite pirates

and that matter hangs like a tapestry

whose threads are wove through vacuum,

that birds are fragments of dinosaurs and

whales invented algebra,

and I believe it

all for the sake of wonder.

 

And if philosophy might be science with a leaning toward hyperbole,

if paleontology could cohabit with quantum field theory

and plate tectonics meld with ethnomusicology (shanties, specifically),

if mathematics joined hands with cetology,

if we cared to make a whole of all we knew in part,

then birds are heirs to brontosaurs

and whales taught Newton calculus

—logic weds with art,

and wonder, like a weed the garden needed, grows through all we know.

 

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.

SEE THE ISSUE

SUGGESTED CONTENT