opalescent crystal ball.
Explore it from outside-in
and your finest scientific eyes
are lost in its unimaginable vastness
which opens onto the totality
of the outer universe.
Nothing can be seen
by blinded scientific eyes
of the everything there.
For the would-be observer dissolves.
Explore it from the outside-out
with your finest human eyes
and its immensity emerges
as the finest shred
of cotton thread
and proceeds to eat its way
along the leaf its tiny footprints clasp
and wander on with all its new companions.
They eat their vernal habitation,
burst skins, yet never do their congregation
give rise to thought or conversation
as to their likely destination.
The universal Satnav impels them from within
needing no map or entomological education.
And when at last they can eat no more
and cast off one final unwanted skin
there is no lingering backward glance
or forward looking hesitation
at the unknowability of their destination.
They hang, crumpled shrouds,
upon the nearest twig
and draw out from the vastness
of their invisible Centre
the tools and blueprints
of their future metempsychosis
as conquerors of the Air itself.
Wings and radar and ambulatory landing gear
and a delicate coiled hose for refueling
at the living floral filling stations.
(from GNOMONIC VERSES)