The Bridge Outside Paley's Door

The Bridge Outside Paley’s Door

The manuscript for my collection of poems about William Paley and his 200 year old text Natural Theology has gone to the publisher.  Made and Remade should be out in the middle of 2014

To celebrate I offer this poem, which opens the book and describes my enthusiasm for the project.  It also points to all that has changed since Paley wrote, and the world of change we live in now.


for Polly

I’m fixed on this book
like a three-year-old on trucks,
a five-year-old on dinosaurs.  You could
make it my motif, were I young
enough for birthday parties.

Language to sift and savor
artfully, skillfully portrays
a world of fixed order, art
and skilled contrivance.
This balance
wavers as I wonder
at that world’s collapse in
swings, cycles, evolving
life, shifting earth.

Mechanistic views dissolve in
reality’s wash and rub.  I
turn and read again for fragments,
museum quality gems of evidence
for a long dead argument, a fresh fix
of fine writing, proceeding
from a fine mind.

This poem was included in Ascents: Five Southwestern Women Poets.