"Abstract: Dung Beetles Use the Milky Way for Orientation"*

Steve Tomasko

What is this glow to you
               beetle?                                
                                A streak     a blur, 
a shining            
                somethingness?
 
              ***

I saw it for the first time
                in many years                   that lucent shimmer
in the rarefied and        
                            un(human)-lit air
                of the Bighorn Mountains

               ***

The light of a billion
                          billion stars your guide               
Your universe is made of dung                                                  
                                               movement         hunger
                               Roll        Push that shit away
before another beetle steals it

               ***

What I know                     looking                edge-
                                                                             wise
at the Milky Way from this little
                       jot
halfway between rim and center
                               What I know of photons              
                                                                flashing
               travelling a billion miles
What I know of anything
                                                               is
                what you know                                                                
                               that the light shines.

 

________________________

* Marie Dacke, et.al., Current Biology,
Volume 23, Issue 4, 298-300, 24 January 2013.

 
 
 Steve Tomasko

Steve Tomasko

At some point, Steve Tomasko’s background in biology and entomology collided (hybridized?) with his long-time love of words, which is why nature (often in the form of insects) creep into his poems. He likes the lessons the small, and often over-looked can teach us.