Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Evolution
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Biologists say Darwin did not get it right,
Or only approximately so.
Mechanism is out, and the fitness of survivors,
The stately, crinolined, slow
Progress of a calm Victorian steam age
Wherein species rise and pass,
Clicking like shiny well-oiled automata
Behind museum glass.

It is more, say the cladists, like a suite or a symphony,
A developing work of art:
The dinosaurs a grandly expansive cello line,
The blastoids a brief horn part.
Was Australopithecus a minuet and trio
Or a rich unfolding theme;
And Homo Sapiens ―cadence, coda, fourth movement,
Or might he seem

A misunderstood late work still emerging
From the composer’s mind?
The composer . . . . . .
The conductor . . . . . .
The orchestra . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Better lock the stage door before the holy trinity
Comes sneaking up from behind.


Undated
The Dancing Dust and other poems, 1983