John Dolan
Department of English
University of Otago
New Zealand

Deep South v.1 n.1 (February, 1995)

Copyright (c) 1995 by John Dolan, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the New Zealand Copyright Act 1962. It may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that the journal is notified. This consent does not extend to other kinds of copying, such as copying for general distribution, for advertising or promotional purposes, for creating new collective works, or for resale. For such uses, written permission of the author and the notification of the journal are required. Write to Deep South, Department of English, University of Otago, P. O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.

An Angel Reports to Darwin

Master, none of them love you.
You are not the one they want to hear.
One Galileo, they say,
Made a Pope feel small,
But in the process these professors
all the bigger: So they love him,
and they love far worse
and smaller human minds:
Their death-defying Christ of whom
You know; one Marx, a strange mind,
Clouds, steam fantasies; one Freud, all
Pedantry and titillation, (for he makes
Their very loins ooze cleverness);
And other, even lesser priests,
Ephemerae, whose names
Are the mosquito's whine, a pitch
too high and small for me
To offer to my Master's
Mountain ear.

Only you they will not love.
Tried with your name, they turn
Unhappily away and add this word:
"Social". So they name you:
"Social Darwin".  "Social" means, in their tounge,
Sex and tribal standing.
Thus they mean to say , I think,
Your name disturbs their reproductive
Urge--a strange effect, no doubt,
To all who have not see, as I,
Up close, in your service,
uncomplainingly, the vile yet comic
Pride with which these filthy hominids
(Your pardon, Master) still enshroud

As you ordered. I floated over
Burgess Shale this solar year;
The hominids (Your pardon,
Humbly, once again) are busy
But still as slow and dim as Megatheria
(A species which I yet prefer
to that which has devoured it);
I would estimate their blundering upon
(Your pardon, let me say "discovering")
Chimera 174 three solar years
From date of scroll.  That it may please you,
Who so loved these apes (your pardon
yet again, Dear master)--that it may
Amuse you, and atone for these
Impertinences, may I mention that I saw,
While overfloating Burgess Shale,
Two diggers, both of Sage rank,
I believe, leave Find 106
--Five hundred million years
Of our ceasless care for them--
Exposed, to flake away in wind
And sun, so they might sneak off
To couple furtively in brush,
Swatting deerflies as they moaned in rhythm
On a plastic blanket marked
with butterflies. Indeed, a charming species--
But my Master knoweth best.

So with this scroll, Master,
I send you, as you asked,
Birth records for the city
Of Irkutsk in 1936;
Five freezedried puppies from the dog
I marked near Titicaca; and
In the tube attached, one
Sage ape who called you "social"--
Set in this scroll to sleep,
Sealed, on Archival recall,
Till you may choose to wake
And question it.

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