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Teilhard de Chardin Surfs the Internet David Waltner-Toews

From "A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry," edited by Ann Hostetler (University of Iowa Press: 200 pp., $19.95)

September 14, 2003|David Waltner-Toews

We speak with voices

neither of men nor angels.

We speak with the ephemeral complexity

of electrons, a conversation

of sand castles, articulating perplexity,

retreating to a sigh of candy wrappers, pop cans,

foam and kelp-litter, scraps of garbage

information, dissimulation,

thoughts for gulls to squabble over.

And as the sea sucks back,

a crab, incredible, unthinking, hard

quotidian experience, a wonder of survival,

scuttles over the traces

of our castles. All over the world,

on the beaches of the internet,

you can hear the hissing intake of breath.

All of evolution's come to this

anticipation, this wondrous

rising wave. For just one cresting second,

in tightening bellies, tumbling over

flashing sand, stars, water, air,

and just before

the flotsam engulfs us,

we shall have spoken everything,

understood

nothing,

the sea will sigh,

and, rising sluggishly heave:

just one more try.

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