Waking Up | Cassandra Voices

Waking Up


Waking Up

He had thousands of kodachromes
when he died. Nowadays they’d be snaps
stored on the cloud, given back
tritely as memories by some iphone.
Anyway, they went in the bin,
regardless of what they meant to him.

I have chameleon words, collections of notes,
playing the same role: tie it down —
capture it. What? You, me, the sound
it makes to live; not bringing old stuff close
again (that was bad enough back then),
but the dazzle of being able to comprehend.

Of course, insects don’t waste being alive
worrying about themselves;
they continue to batter themselves
against windows, the life of the hive
before their own; or fanatically nest
under stones, enslaving aphids and the rest.

And rabbits are the same, chewing and getting rattled.
All have better things to countenance
than their own permanance.
It’s baffling that we are so saddled,
knocked over by the whole picture.
What it says in the Scripture

at the start — about Adam and Eve:
it’s not really about sex and so on;
it’s about seeing yourself, alone.
Waking up. To what you may believe.


About Author

Nicholas Battey is retired and lives and gardens in West Devon. He was previously Professor of Plant Development at the University of Reading where he wrote research papers, co-edited and contributed to the popular science books 30 Second Biology and 30 Second Evolution, and co-wrote the textbook Biological Diversity: Exploiters and Exploited. He self-published a collection of his poems in 2020 and his music can be found on his website.

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