Cascadilla Falls – A. R. Ammons

Cascadilla Falls

I went down by Cascadilla
Falls this evening, the stream below the falls,
and picked up a
handsized stone
kidney-shaped, testicular, and

thought all its motions into it,
the 800 mph earth spin,
the 190-million-mile yearly
displacement around the sun,
the overriding
grand
haul

of the galaxy with the 30,000
mph of where
the sun’s going:
thought all the interweaving
motions
into myself: dropped

the stone to dead rest:
the stream from other motions
broke
rushing over it:
shelterless,
I turned

to the sky and stood still:
oh
I do
not know where I am going
that I can live my life
by this single creek.

– A. R. Ammons

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To Madame Curie – Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

To Madame Curie

Oft have I thrilled at deeds of high emprise,
And yearned to venture into realms unknown,
Thrice blessed she, I deemed, whom God had shown
How to achieve great deeds in woman’s guise.
Yet what discov’ry by expectant eyes
Of foreign shores, could vision half the throne
Full gained by her, whose power fully grown
Exceeds the conquerors of th’uncharted skies
So would I be this woman whom the world
Avows its benefactor; nobler far,
Than Sybil, Joan, Sappho, or Egypt’s queen.
In the alembic forged her shafts and hurled
At pain, diseases, waging a humane war;
Greater than this achievement, none, I ween.

– Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

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Astro-Gymnastics – Piet Hein

Astro-Gymnastics

Go on a starlit night,
  stand on your head,
leave your feet dangling
  outwards into space,
and let the starry
  firmament you tread
be, for the moment,
  your elected base.

Feel Earth’s colossal weight
  of ice and granite,
of molten magma,
  water, iron, and lead;
and briefly hold
  this strangely solid planet
balanced upon
  your strangely solid head.

– Piet Hein

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