Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Shuffling of Layers

The longer I live, the more I realize that I’ve merely glimpsed into the layers of the natural world around me.  For this reason 
I was drawn to create a visual response to Dan's own thoughts about this concept in his poem "Layers."
                                                                                                                                                                     — Suzanne



              In the spirit
             of E. O. Wilson  

A buried secret that I’ve
stumbled on below life’s
muzzy noisiness and
haste, distracted hours
of too-often-blustery
day:  there’s something
lurking silent under
every mundane layer,
waiting to arrest
the jaded eye . . .

                      I  watch
the thrasher picking
through the gravel
near our shed, wonder
what’s beneath the
thrasher’s layer?  I

        probe into its puffed

cream belly underneath
brown quills.  Find
one large beetle,
gleaming.  But now
I wonder

        what’s beneath

the beetle’s chitin
layer?  I’ve poked
beneath that layer
once before . . .
                         to light
upon the milk pearl
of a maggot!

come to call life’s
“a shuffling of 

An early version of  “Layers” was published in The Mississippi Review (University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg).  


  1. OMG, how often I feel burdened by the “muzzy noisiness and haste” of life! When I do from now on, maybe -- just maybe! -- I’ll remember to get out of my head, imagine looking deeper into what’s around me. Fine poem and visuals!

  2. Many thanks to each of you, so strong together, for stirring our awareness of the tiny things in our natural world. I often feel wounded when I encounter the deaths of earth's most vulnerable creatures. Your work honors their short-lived spirits. Bunny Medeiros