Biology in the News Explained

The Spirit of Biotunes

A reader has provided the poem below which encompasses the spirit of Biotunes better than I have done thus far. Music and biology do interact more often than most of us think about, and there will be more posts eventually to reflect this. For now, here are Michael Pettit’s musings. Thank you, Michael.

MATINSSo the seed falls when wind vibrates the stalk
to just such a pitch, and it is music
which reproduces these speechless grasses.

This is dawn. Lola calling her cows in,
frost on the fields melting as light brightens
and the air warms one critical degree.

Now, dew, thick over clover, alfalfa,
green pastures from which rise, like bits of dreams,
scattered white asters, cool blue chicory.

This is dawn. Fog down in all the valleys
the Kickapoo River twists through the hills,
draws filled with fog, world emerging from fog.

Shagbark hickories on the ridge take shape
and shreds of clouds change color — red, pink, gray.
This is dawn. Lola calling her Holsteins,

a lone man picking wildflowers and weeds,
grasses packed with seeds waiting for the wind
to rise, waiting for song to scatter them –

purple thistle, red clover, packed clusters
of pink smartweed, flowering campion,
tall long seedheads of sunlit timothy.

Here. I’ve walked over the cold grass, my tracks
a shadow from flower to flower,
my hands full as I stand dumb in the dawn.

Lola calling her cows. Old rituals
at sunup, before the world goes silent
and still and we wait for the wind to rise.

Michael Pettit

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