Autumn Musings

DNA

Red, orange and yellow hiding beneath the green
the necessary chlorophyll  just a screen
to soothe our eyes in summer –

the colour of the leaves, so much chemical waste
nature’s patterns don’t really pander to our taste –
yet poets and artists see design everywhere –

on one oak tree 700,000 leaves fall without a song
a red (and orange) carpet for poets to walk along –
there is rhyme and rhythm in the fall of each leaf –

We share DNA with leaf and acorn –
three billion years ago the double helix was newborn –
now we are aweful testimony to its hidden code.

I’ve been reading Richard Dawkin’s book, The Greatest Show on Earth and this has influenced this poem. Dawkins lays out in detail how the theory of evolution is now considered as scientific fact along with such other facts as the heliocentricity of our solar system. As the title of one of his chapters has it, there is grandeur in this view of life! In my poem I’ve more than hinted at the dichotomous nature of human intelligence.

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