The Crown of Creation $15

This poem was suggested in a flash by a paragraph in Michael McClure’s book, “Scratching the Beat Surface,” in which he quotes Ernst Haekel in the words used here as an epigraph, “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” He goes on to say, in explanation, “Haekel meant that the individual, in his growth from meeting of sperm and ovum at conception, lives out, in fetus, the growth and evolution of his tribe; that first he is an amoeba, then a colonial organism, then an invertebrate, then a lancet, then a fish, until at last he is a mammal and a human.” Reading this brought together for me various strands of thought into one clear picture, in harmony with the cosmological picture of the Muslim saints: “Man is a little cosmos, the cosmos is a big man.” And the view that Allah created the entire creation as a setting, as it were, into which He placed man, the jewel, the perfect diamond, as the seal and culmination of this creation.
(Profusely illustrated with drawings by the author)

Poem Selection from The Crown of Creation

The Crown of Creation



Biological strata I love you they build up their
crud and scum of leaf mold, worm-hole,
layer after layer from forest sea-floor,
itch of shadow alongside of tropic tomato,
length and slither of that lithe and little
skittering thing that goes up the radium xylophone
of subterranean phyla, bit after bit, the slow
and shadowed rise, the ache and urge!

Dot and drop of ectoplasmic spittle and drip
of the living-most pool in a molecular mini-spa,
molecules lying in their sun-bathed nakedness
in heat’s palatial crater, crease and fold
of ostrich eye-blink, snooze-bubbled alligator
in a froth of black mud that makes oil look like
lilywhite sheen, so deep is that blackness!

There is ooze upon ooze here, there is
Name upon Name here of Allah in piled
letters laying out the
whole telegraphic array of the
leveled and layered veneer,
one crystal-clear level lying on another
through niches and slits of forest, rising
like ponderous elevators through
elephantine chambers of redwood voices echoing
magnesium mellophones, tone after tone of one
chord that is heard through it all, the
whole this-worldly air-show, high-rising suds of
splendorous lusciousness,

tiger-lily and splash of green orchid, light like
splatterings of tiny crystalline lakes of light
spilling out across a decline
as the whole mess rises…


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