Nature Speaks! Submissions

Jordan Mounteer's "Tardigrade"

Link to SNI Bio-Compendium

Tardigrade (Milnesium tardigradum)


A day fraught with thresholds, the obvious
and not so obvious. Rosehips soring fully red
with sugar. The osprey’s delegation to gravity.
Forests and solitude at the margins of spontaneous 
Combustion. Tension of raindrops on a branch 
as thoughts are tension. The invisible held together 
by the invisible - the custodians of thresholds.

We awake under your microscopes,
sleeping bags with eight pairs of claws –
water bears, moss piglets. A human compulsion
to make sense of our inexactitude. Look,
how even language at a molecular level becomes 
as unpredictable as photons, blinking in and out.


Love lives here like every other quantum thing,
existing only when observed. Indestructible as gods
which is to say destructible, a metastability of faith
in what is seen or felt.

You want to believe in that which is insoluble 
to your believing in it – physics whirring in the background,    
roots in their dark halls igniting like a candelabra,    
meiotic thrust of cells. Beauty in its infinite clade.

In the end you will believe in us who are impervious 
to universal constants, shrugging off the vacuum of space
and gamma radiation, rehearsing immortality as our atoms
slow harmlessly to a standstill in absolute zero.     
All of us skirting the distances at which things begin 
to fall apar and, miraculously, don’t.