Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a milky moon / in the dark cup of night

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva)

a milky moon
in the dark cup of night

a sledge of stars pulled by the clouds
a burning sun that has flown in sparks and dust to the end of creation

everywhere the world sleeps in these ways
the clocks wind down to stillness and the flowers search for things to say

the  marsh plays with her fingers of willows and seeks guidance
she dips her  face into the water where the grasses bow their stems and arms

their long tresses of plaited hours falling down     the walking wind
stoops to drink   the moon’s last drops of milk     the long whispers float by   as the

muskrats zip themselves back into the water and shut the door of waves behind their tails 
and the geese remember their dances  they open their wings like flowers in the columbine blue waters

they nest in the cattails like white threads   they fold themselves into steps 
  and in the forest   the Fireweed stalks have   rocketed to the skies in pink explosions  

 and on burning out have made their seeds into sparks that they hold out
daring us to take them into our mouths       they spike the way we go through the woods

a milky moon
in the dark cup of night

a reverberation of jumps in the water as the ducks follow each other in obedient rows
they remember the answers to the questions that they had asked   they line the coat of cattails

with their feathers      under the limp poplar leaves the wind walks like a young girl in love
  seeking out the water’s edge    as if to pull that watery cloth off the table of land   as if to

lay that cloth of water over the grasses that purr green and roll in her grip
that animal  that stirs in the darkness  that the wind is in love with    made of the grasses’ fur and muscles

but what is being stalked? and where does the wind go?   out of the hollowed pool she leaps
she skips with the rope of branches   and jumps high   to where the aspens are making their verses

at night there are no more decisions    the night bleaches out the hours of the flowers
the day falls into the water and disappears and only the marsh has a story to speak of  that I listen to

punctuations of day and night     soft whispers  the cattails holding on their lanterns of dragonflies up
the stones breaking into pieces to form a path across the water to where the wind waits  there are

always the songs of the darkness    visible on the pages of the grasses   always the moon 
in her cup of night and the wind walking the dogs of the stars     you are in the place where the waters talk

July 31, 2012 Laps

Missed the laps yesterday.
Did 1 hour today on machine.
Did 40 laps.

Got older boy to the recreation center to do his swimming.
Younger boy still in camp. Hopefully he will be ok for the hiking next week.

my raft of words

Between the house and the garden exists the compost heap where I take the scraps for most of the summer and into the fall. It rests in the winter as the deck and path don’t get cleared often and it is slippery –a fall there would be painful as I have already slipped and twisted an ankle and had to hobble around bad tempered for a while.  And so the compost heap gets fed while the weather is warm and the days allow for such gatherings of insect, bacteria, fungi, rodents, and bird life. We whistle and they come.

Between the house of Kuwait and the garden of arrival in Edmonton was the library that sheltered me and sealed me as effectively as a pile of mud would seal the toast crusts, the ends of the carrots, the celery pieces, the apple cores –the sort of place to nurture a soul.

When I started the long process of becoming a civilized child from the savage that I had been until I arrived in Edmonton in the middle of winter, when I began to learn the proper ways of the teenager –brown skinned and badly dressed, when I learned what it meant to be dull and boring and absent from social life at Harry Ainlay High School, it was the sort of abyss that one might fall into if one was a discarded bit of food from the table of life. It felt like that when I entered the claustrophobic hallways of Harry Ainlay High School—as if I had been dropped by an unseen hand in the middle of a freezing winter without proper gear and knowledge into the middle of a tribe that I had no idea of. I did not and would not navigate the tribe. I left it entirely. Except for another brown skinned girl, the daughter of a mathematics professor at the University of Alberta, I have no recollection of a single friend in high school.  What I do recollect is going away to the school library and escaping from the tedium of high school politics among the groups of giggling stupid teenagers and whiling my time away in the books.  I remember going to the public library and bringing home the safety catches of books to read in my pink bedroom, creating a haven within even my home for the peaceful construction of another reality—one which did not have hormones, boys, blond girls, parties, and a social life that I was not a part of. I made my own social life –then –as I do now—in the compost heap of libraries.  I constructed the world I wished to inhabit not out of time spent with kids drinking and smoking drugs but doing the rituals of poetry ---inhabiting romances by Georgette Heyer, looking to a past that seemed less unmannerly. I was looking for a raft.

I found it in books. When I go out into any place now—I carry my raft of books. I cannot manage reality without this raft.

If you arrive here from another country, if you have no way to integrate into the society –if you understand you are a leper among your adolescent group –well then you can give into the feelings of inferiority or you can determinedly rise above this feeling of erasure –of nullification and become someone else.  You can make a world and occupy it as you would.

The central purpose of books for me in the time of introduction to the Canada of the 1970’s was to ensure the  preservation of  my life.  Some of us preserve our lives by going to other human beings and forging the bonds of friendship and relationships that might imitate love.  In those days, of chaos when my father in his forties was retraining as a physician in Canada, when my mother had to go out and take any bit job that would allow them to pay their rent, when the children were ill dressed, documented as being incapable things, well –there was only the secure foundation of books to grip onto and build upon. And how I built!

I tore the library stacks apart looking for salvation. I made my raft of words, over and over again and put out to sea, making small journeys.  Even now when life goes all to hell as it does for all of us I do not go to the human beings all around me and whimper out the secrets of defeat and retribution. I get out my words. I pull out the lines and like Emily Dickinson I make my poems and I aim. I put out my interior world and say the things I have to say –not to human beings—oh no—there is no point in that. I take my words and speak to them as I did as an adolescent coming to Canada and finding the friendship of strangers a pallid matter, like honey broken out of hives by others and not shared. No. Not that way.  I go to the stacks of the library or my own shelves and there among the souls of poets, come the words that tell me over and over again –this is a matter than can be solved.  There is hope. Do not give in.

And I say these words to you –as well. If you are a stranger in a strange land, if you have no friends in the new country you have arrived at, try to make your friends among these foreigners you meet.  But if there is no one, you cannot be inside your own head in an apartment listening to canned voices on a television all the time. You cannot be this alone. Go to the library. Take down a book. In the words of a poet or a story teller, find the hand that extends across centuries and hold tight to that hand. From such relationships will come your salvation. Not out of flesh and blood contact but from the hand –ghostly and pale of Emily saying her words of encouragement and rebellion. Or in the words of Dylan Thomas:  Do not go gentle into that good night.  Indeed, do not.   Do what Emily did in her poem  660—create the messenger who will aim her arrows of words and bring about a new life and a new world---if only for yourself.

I took my Power in my Hand – / And went against the World – Emily Dickinson (Poem 660)

Out of the great compost heap of the library ---take your books--create your raft of words ---and go "against the World"--that world that will not or cannot remove the lie from its lips.  Whatever you do --do not yourself give in to this lie.  Rather go down with your raft of words than give in to the lie.

lay down your work

Manastash Ridge

lay down your work
cease the endless mocking thoughts
lay out the mind like a plate and leave it empty

take your time in your hand like a child
and walk yourself to the forest   see the leaves
as they peel off the tree and form their berries dark with sweetness

and taste every one     
capture  your time and press each second against
the lips and mouth   eat well   this is summer    the last day of July

soon there will be a forest of ice
the icicles will strip the trees of their green light
and you wither with the cold   there will be snowfall and rain

there will be the skates by the door again
and the hard ice on the road  as the car slides  
you will be out of the pleasant warmth and sunlight

lay down your work
and grope in the warmth for a while
and when it is done   when September comes

with its chorus of duties
and the boys are sent to school  as if they
were being imprisoned in jailhouses   then look back on

the last day of July
think about the grapes and the wine
and the bottle   think about all the devotions made

lay down your work
lie in the fields of grasses
drink the wine of your life

I let you go

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

I let you go
with the children’s toys
the broken pail and the sand toys
that the boys no longer use  I let you go
with the summer sunlight and the forest of cherries
that the birds take in their beaks      with the slinking caterpillar
that turns into a white moth       I let you go with the door of the night
opening and the mouth of the moon smiling    I let you go easily as I would
an endless row of leaves from the poplar on the river    as gently as the mother
lays her baby on the cot   I let you go     and when you are no longer here in the mind
when you are stolen away by time     I will lock this chest of dreams and shiver through the next
loss  I will not think of you again  I let you   go despite hunger and hope  despite all the tired excuses
I let you go with darkness and the morning shout of light    I let you go    without pausing to turn and look back   there will be others that I will love and I let you go   without regret at knowing you   for what
is this life for?   without such experience of disaster  we cannot measure our happiness   I let you go   as I leap from the branch  as I learn to fly   though I must do this alone   I let you go    and find what I am looking for   before me  and without pause I immerse myself in the new study   I let you go  so that I may learn the new beloved    so that I may now turn    to the new project waiting    so that I may be attentive

Alice in Wonderland garden

Somewhere there are pansies with their purple faces ringing a barrel. I have always planted pansies as souvenirs of trips –through the garden.  I watch for a shatter proof pot and then dig into it to clamp a bit of Petunia, a geranium and the pansy. There seems to be no need for any other plants.

If I am able to find them a moss rose might stack there as well or the pointing trail of a nasturtium but beyond these ordinary flowers I do not have a harvest of annuals that I think of each summer—for my garden is stocked with self replenishing canned goods of perennials that magically appear each spring and make the shelves bulge out.

 Because I have been writing as if I were about to come to an end –as if an accident would finish me off—I have not meandered into potting plants this year and all the baskets are heavy with soil and dead plants. There is a ghostly feeling about the house and garden --- as if the rains had made it imperative for us to give up.  Which I have. I have made no effort to put out the annuals.

The hanging baskets from last year sway in the wind. The barrels fill with bald sunflowers that have self seeded and become scrawny outposts of hunger in the barrels.  The solid rock that is in most of the pots do not allow for the survival of any volunteers except the most determined and a flock of small lettuce have managed the feat of keeping themselves going to push out yellow dandelion like flowers that they telescope out of their stems –all of them etiolated sickly offspring of plants that were flourishing and robust just last summer when the potted plants were various and healthy.

Now all the pots sit with their weeds, the garden collects its thistle thumbs and there is a feeling of despair about everything   --as if the rains have pointed out to me that this garden was far too ambitious –that someone who writes as insanely as I do can barely take care of her sons much less the demands of a garden flooded with both water and perennials.

And yet, and yet, despite the weeds, the spindly plants and the hammered with hail survivors of the bushes we have a garden still. The grass bears its snail heads of mushrooms now and the butterflies glide through the green stems and watery flowers of the poppies seeking mates. The minor birds come to sit on the branches that I have put as guideposts for them and myself where the path winds and where the delphiniums need a cane to support themselves. The birds are newcomers and are not pulled in by seeds because I have not had the time to go put out the seeds. Instead, they come to whirl about the compost heap, to strip the weeds of any flotsam and to pick at the wet ground after the rains have bulleted the news of worms in telegraphic fashion to every robin in the vicinity.

What was farmer’s field, what was then raped and stripped by the developer to make a clay rock bed---what was then raised up by my husband with good soil, compost and raised beds—is now a sort of farmer’s field again albeit with no sort of homogenous crop but the sort of mad meadow devised by an Alice in Wonderland type mentality that I must own.    

Wherever I look there is the chaos of a garden neglected and left to write its own lines as I sit in the dark room with dragonfly nibs pushing against the glass trying to write their words of desire against the panes. Wherever I look my neighbors have restricted and controlled chaos and forgiven themselves for this by a tepid plant or potted Petunia.

Meanwhile their dogs yap at my chaos, the butterflies shiver through clapping enthusiastically and the compost heap steams.  Tunnels may exist where hares push through, a mouse burrows through to the cantaloupe rind and the dusky bodies of beetles grope. Under the thistles’ purple crowns the bees somnolently buzz to drop down on the arms of the rose with the pink lips.   Yes, I am writing in the relative safety of a controlled experiment inside the house while outside Nature makes of my garden project  what changes she would.  Alice in Wonderland type changes.

also it is summer

The day has travelled past and I am only at the start of chapter 5 of biology 20. Younger boy is immersed in his animation camp with his friend at the University of Alberta.  I don’t know what he learns but certainly he has got out of the house. His neighborhood friends come and do not find him home hunched over his computer or X-box. Nope. Today he is at the University of Alberta, learning a little bit about the future work he has (perhaps) to do.   As for older boy, this is his day off from work and I am pushing him to study for his second test. He has finished his second assignment and received the mark back and while he studies for his second test, I would like to make the notes on chapters 5-10.
The course is taking me a lot longer than I expected. There is a great deal of material to cover and the correspondence course questions are murky (not clear at all).  
Also it is summer.
I am looking forward to hiking next week.
Still no way to book the bus at Lake O’Hara.
And of course we are behind in our plans.
I will work on that tomorrow.
After I drop younger boy and his friend at the camp tomorrow, I will do the grocery shopping for the holidays.
Today I am slow. But that is fine. I am still reading “This House of Sky  Landscapes of  a Western Mind” by Ivan Doig and enjoying  it and I am almost finished “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and so perhaps it is not surprising that I am behind in my notes for older boy.
When I am finished all these notes, I will start on his chemistry book.

Summer is passing me by like a train that is chugging through the valley and leaving only smoke signals to tell me that it is still here.  The last day of July.
The water still sits in the grasses.
The door of the playground has not yet opened.

When you arrive at summer you think all the work is finished and encounter yet a small labor and you realize that the work never finishes, you have to pause and take the deliberate step to go away. If you do not leave the house, you will always be doing this and that whittling the great log of summer time down to dust.
You have to travel far away just to take the summer to heart.

It is good to do this.
Drop out of the regular routine that is.
Make yourself a stranger in another town as we will do when we go to Lake Louise and hike in Yoho National Park.

We will travel far to find our summer time.
We will journey some place else to stop working ceaselessly.
We will finally have the holiday that summer is supposed to be ---and even if we have to travel far to stop the endless studying---it will be worth it.
We will be in the mountains.
I must not forget to take my books to read.

at the end of time

Mount Robson Morning

at the end of time
you will pass through the last days in a golden silence
all your world will reduce to the room where you will lie

you will forget
your other life   when you were outside and the mountains were lit
with the spoken words of love    now only the hand on yours   will matter more

than what you have left behind    that place in the ice and rock
you will sit in your bed of words    you will walk through memory
of the high places   and feel   every portion of what you have done    at the end of time

you will rejoice
for you have done what you wished    you have eaten of
the bread of life    you have drunk of spring waters   and you taken your

rest on the grasses by the waters of  mountain rivers 
you have walked in the mountains hand in hand with those you have loved
 you have heard the words of the flowers  blue and yellow say to you  the intangible tangible  matters

that they often speak of  and in the river’s hands
 the rocks have formed a path you have used
to cross over     in your walk of stars    at the end of time

you will have memory
with its rooms of light to polish your bones
you will have the river of darkness lit by this stream of light

that your memory
will provide in candles and pale torches    in these small lights that
you have lit  as you passed through the rooms of your hut of words

as you have travelled far seeking what has been inside you already
to finally give up    to finally get to the end room  where you will lie on your bed
 where you will plait together the stems of grasses    and make a rope of memory

with which you will climb out of life
with which you will travel to your dreams to the next world   which will be of silence
and darkness    out of the end room  you will go far  into that darkness     at the end of time

Inquiry into Biology Unit 3 Preparation UNIT 3 Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

July 30, 2012-July 31, 2012
Unit 3 Preparation

Inquiry into Biology

UNIT 3 Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
Chapter 5
General Outcomes

In this unit  
-you will relate photosynthesis to the storage of energy in organic compounds
-explain the role of cellular respiration in releasing potential energy from organic compounds

Unit 3 Contents

Chapter 5

Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

Focussing Questions

1)      how does light energy from the Sun enter living systems?
2)      how is the energy from light used to synthesize organic matter?
3)      how is the energy from organic matter released for use by living systems?

Unit 3 Preparation

Prerequisite Concepts

Plant and Animal Cells

-eukaryotic cells  are cells that have a nucleus
-plants, animals, fungi and protists are organisms made up of eukaryotic cells

What are cells?
Refer to the figures on page 154 and 155 (figures P3.1 and P3.2)

-cells are microscopic components of organisms
-cells can be specialized for specific tasks in organisms

-cells that make up plants and animals can be distinguished by different features

-for eg. plant cells are surrounded by a rigid structure called a cell wall
-animal cells do not have a cell wall

-plant and animal cells share several structural and functional similarities

-for eg.  both types of cells contain organelles
-these are specialized structures of the cell

-many organelles are surrounded by a membrane eg.  chloroplasts in plant cells and mitochondria in animal cells

-the organelles all work together to maintain the cell function
-the different structures of the plant and animal cells are outlined below and refer to the diagrams to orient yourself in either the plant or animal cell.

1)      cell membrane- a structure that separates the cell interior from the outside world and controls the movement of materials in and out of the cell
2)      cytoplasm –a gel-like material that consists mostly of water; it has dissolved materials and creates the chemical environment in which other cell structures work
3)      nucleus—the command centre of the cell that contains the DNA –this material---provides the template for the production mRNA –that is used to generate proteins
4)      nuclear pores—pores in the nuclear membrane large enough for macromolecules to enter and ribosomes to leave the nucleus
5)      chromatin—uncoiled chromosomes (DNA)
6)      nucleolus – a specialized area of chromatin inside the nucleus responsible for producing ribosomes
7)      ribosomes- tiny two-part structures found throughout the cytoplasm that help put together proteins
8)      endoplasmic reticulum (ER)  - a system of flattened membrane-bound sacs and tubes continuous with the outer membrane of the nuclear envelope –that has two types of membrane---rough ER—which is studded with ribosomes and synthesizes proteins and a smooth ER which synthesizes phospholipids and packages macromolecules in vesicles for transport to other parts of the cell
9)      Golgi apparatus—a stack of flattened membrane-bound sacs that receive vesicles from the ER---contain enzymes for modifying proteins and lipids—package finished products into vesicles for transport to the cell membrane (for secretion out of the cell) and within cells as lysosomes
10)   mitochondrion –the powerhouse of the cell where organic molecules---usually carbohydrates—are broken down inside a double membrane to release and transfer energy
11)   lysosome – a membrane-bound vesicle filled with digestive enzymes that break down worn-out cell components or materials brought into the cell
12)   peroxisome— a membrane-bound vesicle containing enzymes that break down lipids and toxic waste products, such as alcohol
13)   centrosome—an organelle located near the nucleus that organizes the cell’s microtubules, contains a pair of centrioles (made up of microtubules), and helps to organize the even distribution of cell components when cells divide
14)   vesicle—a small membrane-bound transport sac
15)   vacuole – a large membrane-bound, fluid-filled sac for the temporary storage of food, water, or waste products
16)   cytoskeleton – a network of 3 kinds of interconnected fibres that maintain cell shape, and allow for movement of cell parts; actin filaments, intermediate filaments and microtubules

The Cell Membrane

Refer to the diagram on page 156  Figure P3.3

1)      the cell membrane is a boundary between the inside of the cell and the outside environment
2)      it consists of phospholipid molecules, which are a type of lipid
3)      these phospholipid molecules form a double layer
4)      lipids are organic compounds that do not dissolve in water (eg fats, steroids like cholesterol, oils)
5)      each phospholipid molecule has a shape with a head and a tail
6)      the head end dissolve in water and the tail end is insoluble in water
7)      due to this –the phospholipids arrange themselves spontaneously in water into a two-layered, sandwich-like structure (see figure P3.3 page 156)
8)      heads are on the outside, tails are inside the cell
9)      the tails face each other
10)   the heads are dissolved in watery fluid
11)   cell membranes are composed of a double-layer of phospholipids as well as proteins embedded inside this double layer
12)   there are other molecules
13)   some of the proteins form passageways through which water soluble molecules and ions can pass
14)   other proteins help transport substances across the membrane

Types of Transport—Membrane Transport Mechanisms
Passive Transport: Diffusion and Osmosis
Facilitated Diffusion
Active Transport
Endocytosis and Exocytosis

Refer to Table on page 159 which depicts the Mechanisms for the Movement of Substances across the Cell membrane and characteristics of each type of transport mechanism

Types of Transport—Membrane Transport Mechanisms

Passive Transport: Diffusion and Osmosis

-the cell membrane is selectively permeable or semi-permeable
-what this means is that some molecules can pass through the membrane while others are not allowed to go through

-one method by which small molecules and ions move through the cell membrane is by diffusion

-diffusion is the natural movement of molecules or ions from a region where they are more concentrated to one where they are less concentrated
-refer to figure P3.4 page 157 where this principle is illustrated

-molecules move from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration---down their concentration gradient
-in this case ink particles will eventually become dispersed evenly in water as time passes due to diffusion

-many molecules –especially small, uncharged ones like oxygen can move easily through the cell membrane by diffusion

-the cell membrane cannot prevent this movement of certain molecules and ions  because it is permeable to them

-thus diffusion is a passive process
-it doesn’t require cell energy

-the natural tendency of a substance to move down a gradient or following its concentration gradient is due to the movement of the substance from an area of high concentration to that of lower concentration

-a gradient is a general term that refers to the difference in some quality between two adjacent regions

-differences in concentration/pressure/electrical energy/pH all establish gradients

-there is also the movement of water
-water diffuses freely in this way across the membrane
-the diffusion of a solvent – across a semi-permeable membrane is called osmosis
- water in the cell (intracellular) goes to the outside and water on the outside (extracellular water) can go in
-the direction of osmosis depends on the relative concentration of water molecules on either side of the membrane

-if water concentration inside the cell is equal to the water concentration outside –then equal amounts of water move in and out of the cell at the same rate
-the cell is isotonic to the fluid surrounding it

-if water concentration is greater outside the cell than inside the cell—then water moves into the cell
-the cell is hypotonic to the fluid surrounding it

-if the water concentration inside the cell is greater than that outside the cell –water moves out of the cell
-the cell is hypertonic to the fluid surrounding it

-the cell membrane cannot prevent the water movement because it is permeable to water molecules
-thus osmosis is a passive process that does not require energy from the cell

Facilitated Diffusion

-substances such as water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide can pass through the cell membrane without assistance

-however, other substances cannot do so without help

-a glucose molecule---is too large to diffuse through the membrane
-specialized transport proteins in the cell membrane move glucose and other substances in and out of the cell

-the structure of these transport proteins make them selective

-this means they transport only specific substances

-a particular transport protein will recognize and help to move only one type of dissolved molecule or ion based on its shape, size, and electrical charge

-the protein that does this work is called a carrier protein
-it facilitates or helps the movement of specific substances like glucose from where they are more concentrated to where they are less concentrated

-a carrier molecule will accept only a non-charged molecule with a specific shape

-refer to figure 3.5A page 158 to understand this process –the carrier protein changes shape to allow certain molecules to cross the cell membrane

- carrier proteins allow molecules to move both in and out of the cell

-a different protein moves charged particles across the membrane --  channel proteins
-they have a tunnel-like shape
-charged particles (ions) must be small enough to pass through the tunnel
-it must also have the right charge
-like charges will repel

In diffusion, osmosis, and facilitated diffusion, any substance crossing the cell membrane follow their concentration gradient; no energy is expended by the cell.

Active Transport

-energy is used for transport a substance that is more concentrated inside the cell than outside the cell
-energy is taken from ATP (adenosine triphosphate)
-when one of the three phosphates is split from ATP in a chemical reaction, energy is released that is used to power cell functions
-often this cell function is cell transport of a substance against its concentration gradient

Endocytosis and Exocytosis

-some substances are too large to cross the cell membrane eg. cholesterol
-the cell uses a specialized method to move these large molecules
-it can use either endocytosis or exocytosis


- the cell folds in on itself to create a membrane enclosed, bubble or sac called a vesicle
-when this is done to bring in the substance from outside the cell ---this is called endocytosis

Endocytosis is further subdivided into pinocytosis, phagocytosis and receptor-assisted endocytosis.


-intake of a small droplet of extracellular fluid plus any dissolved substances or tiny particles that it may contain
-this process occurs in almost all cell types nearly all the time


-intake of a large droplet of extracellular fluid
-it often includes bacteria or bits of organic matter
-the process only occurs in specialized cells such as certain white blood cells of the immune system (part of the defense system of the body)

Receptor-assisted endocytosis

-intake of specific molecules that attach to special proteins in the cell membrane
-these receptor proteins have uniquely shaped projections or cavities –that bind a specific molecule
-cholesterol is transported into cells in this manner


-this is the removal of substances from inside the cell to the cell surface
-a vesicle from inside the cell fuses with the cell membrane
-contents of the vesicle are secreted into the extracellular fluid
-exocytosis is important in secretion of cell products such as hormones

See figure P3.6 for depiction of endocytosis/exocytosis
See table on the same page (page 159) for characteristics of cell transport processes

oh I am not the saviour of darkness

Kulshan Creek Falls

I have laid before you
dreams       and you have believed them to be real

and I have opened your eyes
and yet you have stayed blind

when I gave you riches
you took what is nonsense as your mind

you steal time
and throw it into the landfills  along with my poems

and when you come to me
in the concrete blocks where you think I reside

and ask for small favors
life      health     the child’s life

I cannot do any of this work for you
these are beyond my mind’s reach      and you must not expect anything

you must do this work yourself
you      who come to me in blindness

do not wait for me
to solve the problems you have brought upon yourself

do not wait for me
I am not here to be your savior

you must save yourself
and your children     you must rise out of your own pools of darkness

where you drown
and you must hold tight to each other as you walk carefully through

the thousands of days to the end
you must do all of this by yourself     oh  I am not a savior of the darkness

I am here to play the instruments
and get you to hear the music

and you must take the rest of the work
upon yourselves    and in doing this work    you will make yourselves

oh I am not the savior of darkness
I am here to play the instruments   and get you to hear the music

when you rise out of the beds of emptiness
come to the land  and see the grasses  how they roll about like glass balls

how they shine in their green life
how they speak in their tongues    silently with the wind’s caress

they say music   the music of everything
and you are all deaf      oh I am not the savior of darkness

I am here to play the instruments
and get you to hear the music

rise out of your beds of emptiness
go to the waterfalls and hear the music playing there

there is a baptismal font playing all around you
that no longer exists      in the stone palisades of your houses

not in the places of glass and concrete
not in the towers     where you believe  I live   I am not there

but here in the waterfall   there is rebirth
and heaven     here is the world I have given to you  where I am present

and  yet   you believe in dust
here it is life   here it is water   here it is music

and  still  you are all deaf    
  oh I am not the savior of darkness

I am here to play the instruments
and get you to hear the music