Oct 26, 2010

To the Last Taxonomist

Written by Michael Francis Rutherglen

Read by Melissa Dickson Blackburn

Shepherd of the specimened dead
into fading archives of slides, you
through whose head our herds went
straggling in Latin, two by two

in high binomials; homo
, obscure Noah
stranded far from the slow,
irrelevant swelling of our oceans,

what we will never know we have
no need of numbering, and we will
acknowledge nothing new under
the steadily escalating sunlight.

Ark of our lack,
in your wake all will speak
in a single tongue’s common terms.
Your kingdoms will contract

to crops and flocks, feed and feasts,
as we scatter in pairs your names,
forgetting and forgetting
until only ours remain.