- My Dear Fox
. . . I am rather low today about all my experiments,—everything has been going wrong—the fan-tails have picked the feathers out of the Pouters in their Journey home— . . . seeds will sink in salt-water—all nature is perverse & will not do as I wish it . . .—Charles Darwin, 17 May 1855 to W. D. Fox
When was it we first perfected the art of netting beetles? Those dull classics lectures at Cambridge, botany was certainly surer—a soft, yielding curve of August days. Today is windowless and gives no light, a lily leaning in the darkened wood. Can words ever fill any void with meaning? Will the eggs float on seawater? I am very anxious to see whether the eggs stand sea water. Even the trees seem leafless with winter, contradictions encumber every sense, the whine of silence inhabits every moment. I'm in those precious seconds, perhaps, a paddler feeling he can just make it, a beautiful purposeful wave of ellipses, curves and faint shapes. Nothing has germinated, every lot of seeds has done badly, nothing emerges on the broad lake beyond, my notes are strangers, a tangled noise of bracelets designed in dreams. Possibilities suggest complications. My dear Fox . . . Of course this note need not be answered, without by a strange & favourable chance you can someday answer it with the eggs.
Brent Pallas lives and works in New York City as an illustrator and craft/home project designer for magazines. His poetry has appeared in the Southern Review, 2RV, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poetry, Gettysburg Review, the New England Review and other journals.