Let Thought Accept Its Place
Through chew, through eyeless churn, earthworms tumble the earth
By inching, bunching; segments collapse, telescope,
Render the hardpack (degradation left of leaves)
Loose to water, air, exchange of chemical fire; they
May wrap, warp, runnel, drill and shift out passages
Through dirt in humble wavelets through the surface, yet
Their work arranges earth for the root green riot; they
May be unclean, may be unthinkable, yet only
Such might – muscle in the billions – could be enough
To throw a planet’s skin awry, fieldbed for seeds.
We can not see it, do not know it; can not reach
So deep; we cannot reach so deep; we cannot reach
So deep. Let thought, a flicker through a surface, trace
Of lightning through its skin, accept its place with worms
To overturn, to undermine, mix earth and air.
John Timpane is the Associate Editor of the Editorial Board of the Philadelphia Inquirer. His books include Writing Worth Reading (coauthored with Nancy H. Packer), It Could Be Verse, and Poetry for Dummies (coauthored with Maureen Watts and the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University). His poetry has appeared in Sequoia, Vocabula Review, Northeast Corridor, 5_Trope, Eight Millennial Voices, Bucks County Writer, Live Oak, Wild River Review, and elsewhere. He is married to Maria-Christina Keller, copy executive at Scientific American. They live in Lawrenceville, N.J., with their children, Pilar (whose poetry also appears on this site) and Conor.