Wednesday, September 4, 2013

For Those Passing \ To The Kansas Board Of Education

Nancy: How cold and refreshing the water was, how special the flavor of well water – as though the tin cup added its own zest.  A cup still has a place in the back of our kitchen drawer and another is tied to our pump handle.  When I was still one of those “folks from away,” this homely thought was a bond between me and the old-timers.

For Those Passing

We always kept a tin cup
by the well, or a dipper;
and stopped too
and pumped and rinsed and drank
at other’s wells.
Sometimes the water ran,
clear, from a pipe at the roadside,
a scythed bank, a cup tied with a string.
Horses drank at the overflow.
Even today,
I like the sweet taste of natural courtesy,
the cup, hung on a fence staple
by the well,
water enough for all.

Alan: In 1999, Kansas deleted the teaching of evolution from the state’s science curriculum.  Despite that, life proceeds according to the reality-based principle, as it always has.

To The Kansas Board Of Education
                                                            on its Consideration of the Future of the Teaching of the Theory of Evolution

Our kind arose, we’re told,
from voles and shrews
or more primitive scurriers yet,
ascending, get by get,
through lemurs, monkeys, apes
(or some such hairy jakes)
until a light flicked on
behind the brow of brawn.
Ergo: Mozart.  The Bomb.

An older story line
insists that every kind
dropped fully formed
from God’s all-pregnant Brain,
which makes us each the same
except that some have heard
of Jesus and the Word
while others nibble grain.

Observing shrews and voles,
I think they’re unamused
and will simply carry on
despite the recent polls
which derogate their long
and lustrous line
to lower rungs.

Nor do they care a whisker
if God or God’s big sister
thought of them first.
As long as seed-heads burst
and meal-mates throng
they’ll do what must be done
long after we’re gone
to dust and dung.

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