10 April, 2011

Why Must It Be Beautiful?

What is it for, all this
beauty? The curve
of the spiral

from the laddered
twist of DNA
to the vast wave

of galaxies; the green
luna moth, breath-
taking & ordinary.

Does the prey see
beauty in its predator?
Do gazelles admire

the leopard? Does
the seal lift
its sleek head

to gaze in wonder
at the bumbling,
lethal polar bear?

Our science tells us
how. Our science
gives us reason.

But why must it be
beautiful? The aero-
nautic miracle

of the bumble bee;
the passing brilliance
of the butterfly. Surely

predators would be
more deterred by
ugliness. The hideous

and the platypus
have their own glory.
Humans have our

own glory. Do other
creatures adore
the useless,

the only gorgeous,
the green wave
of Northern Lights

dimming the stars?
The indented shadow
of the heron's bath

in a snowdrift? Why
must it be beautiful?
When we pass, with

the bee, with
the butterfly,
with the polar bear,

the leopard,
the gazelle,
who will grieve

this deep and terrible
loss? Who will delight
in what comes next?

~ ~ Sharon Brogan