Thoughts for a Blue January

Zinnias in Space

Those were days
of unlimited possibility:
wars raging on another
continent, but the Unknown
untamed. Monsters could be
there, or mastodons. Until
we paved the prairies
plowed the starfields
dug all the gold, buried
the bones.

From Goethe

I appear to myself
more and more historical
willing to trade
sharpness of body
for sharpness of mind
mellowing of mood
and voice—if only
all did not seem so scattered
chicken-feed in the rain
meandering to mush

Still mining Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature. Namely, the idea that Thomas Jefferson hoped there might be living mastodons in the unexplored wilds of the American continent, and a quote from a letter Goethe wrote to Alexander von Humboldt’s brother, Wilhelm (first two lines of second stanza). Also, this article about a zinnia grown on the International Space Station.

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