A Dissertation

By Sunday, November 18, 2007 0 , , Permalink 0


Aurora Borealis, Aurora Australis1


We are, I am told, evolved2 star powder:

The explosion, the exodus, the slow growth—

Our anatomy3 is a little cosmology.4

No wonder a firmament5 fills the cerebrum:6

Expanses stretch inside us, aromas,7

Our thinking caps are knit by Mother Reason,

Person sets a match to the soma;8

No wonder we wish our city lights,

The spirit of Claudius,9 wouldn’t

Curtain like a cloud10 the night sky.


The epidermis11 is not the terminus:12

The soul outside-looking-in,


Moves back and forth,

Forth and back again,

In and out of the viscera:13

We are permeable,14 porous;

And, to some degree, the world within us

Is also the world around us

(we call this aura).15


God walks in the garden,

In the cool of the evening;

His potter Spirit throws auricles, cleaving,

And blows upon the waters, breathing;

He roves upon the dawn.


1  a phenomenon of light in the sky, caused by charged particles from the sun interacting with atoms in the atmosphere. In northern and southern regions it’s called aurora borealis and aurora australis [borealis is from Latin, ‘northern,’ based on the Greek Boreas, the god of the north wind; australis is from Latin, ‘southern,’ from Auster ‘the south, the south wind.’]; poetic/lit. “the dawn”.

2  to develop from simple to more complex over successive generations, often as a result of natural selection.

3  the branch of science concerned with human body structure; the physical structure of a person.

the science of the origin and development of the universe, esp. the “big bang theory,” which combines observational astronomy and particle physics; an account or theory of the origin of the universe.

5  the heavens or the sky, esp. when seen as a tangible thing; fig. a world viewed as a collection of people.

6 the principal part of the brain, located in the front of the head, made up of two hemispheres.  It’s responsible for the integration of sensory and neural functions and regular activity in the body.

7  a subtle, pervasive quality or atmosphere; a distinctive, pleasant smell.

8  the body as distinct from the soul and mind.

9  the antagonist in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

10  a mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere; fig. a state or cause of gloom and worry.

11  the outer layer of cells covering a person.

12 a final point in space or time; an end.

13 the organs in the abdomen; the intestines.

14 allowing liquids or gases to pass through it.

15  an atmosphere or quality that seems to surround a person; an emanation surrounding the human body; the essence of the individual.


Minneapolis, 2007. Self-published in Clay Eyes.

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