Poetry | All That Is

All That Is

© 2017 Vernon Miles Kerr


I have concluded, or nearly so,

That Intelligent design

Is in the Universe, or Universes,

Stacked one upon another

In some frequency-variant

Set of substrates of reality—

Ad infinitum.


Not because of

That random-seeming

Toss of thousands of millions of

Galaxies within the limits

Of our feeble techno-vision,

But in the in-our-face,

Daily confrontations

With Earth’s own

Panoply of Life

Animal and Vegetable,

Micro’ to macroscopic:


The fractal whorl

In a cauliflower head,

If you’ll look.

The minutes-quick,

Brown engulfment of

A drop of honey

I’ve experimentally placed

On my countertop,

By thousands of tiny,

Persistent, damned ants.


Happy in summer

To ruin our chairs

Under the shade

Of the crepe-myrtle

With dripping sap

From their lovingly-placed

Vertical, aphid dairy-herd—


In winter

Their little scouts

Range across our

Private domestic surfaces,

Testing, tasting and twiddling

Their tiny antennae.


They must have

Some instant means

Of spooky communication

Back to the hive-general,

To be able to so quickly muster

A platoon of fellow soldiers

To my dollop of amber sweetness—

Or do they run back

And tell their fellows

The honey-news

In language formed

From pheromones

Set on the air?


Whatever the answer,

It seems beyond

Only a few billion years

Of random evolution—

As does the perfection

Of our eyes,

Which worked fine already

In the sockets

Of the dinosaurs.


I squash one

Of the miniscule interlopers

In hatred,

Tinged with curiosity.

Somewhere in the

Wreckage of that tiny

Machine is a computer,

With built-in software

Wired to the organs

Of locomotion,

And the sensors of light,

Touch and smell.

The twisted, broken legs

Earlier carried it along

In an impossibly smooth stride.

I’ve cut the poor thing off

At the trough, in mid sip.


The others scatter in alarm,

Some stream angrily up my arm.

I brush them into writhing capsules

Of chitin as well.

This is only one battle won

In a war between us and them,

A war that has raged

Since we left the caves—

Or maybe even before then.


As Burns watched the spider,

And wondered,

Maybe we watched

This little gnat-like species

Crawl the rock wall,



Or nearly so.

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