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I watch as great mysteries unfold:

an avocado pit upended in some water

pokes its green hello out into the world,

a single ant scouts for morsels and

finding a grain, broadcasts over an invisible

network to the waiting column, their swords

glistening in sunlight, bread-bin jaws all

pincers and determination


How slumberers buried underground all winter

under sub-zero overcoats and blankets, blushingly

don their intimate lingerie at each new spring:

geraniums in their pink petticoats, orange blossoms

dabbing Chanel No5 on newly wakened cheeks,

baby tortoises playing hide-and-seek, making

little crunchy sounds in dry leaves and twigs


On the radio, Haydn’s trumpet concerto—

music, always a great mystery, how rows of

little squiggles on paper transform themselves

via brains, fingers and lips into continuous

streams of delight. And how this pen in my

fingers moves, almost of its own volition

over a naked and waiting sheet, making love

to the paper in loops and bounds


I watch as loops turn into words. In the audience

someone coughs. Wonder whether tortoises

enjoy Haydn or whether they crawl

over and around the squiggles without any

appreciation of their meaning.


As we crawl around our lives

kidding ourselves that we know so much

more than ants or geraniums

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© Johnmichael Simon



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