four million years moving through this hidden place
deep in your blood knowing it by heart
it has always been yours but now I share your secrets
you are everywhere these barren days
sex-crazed leaving traces on hard ground
showing yourself is your fatal flaw
you’re giving yourself away and you don’t know that
you cannot help yourself
I understand this behavior in my own flawed heart
sensing me in your space
I sense you in mine
we will both die here
you are more beautiful
and this is why
you are first to die
To the mantis on the wall
I’m a shadow cast by clouds
interrupting the warmth
of autumn’s fading sun
Lithe green conscious machine
400 million years of insect evolution
unfazed by my superior intellect
Caught in that moment
and sensing the presence
of an ancient predator
I retreat and anticipate
the uncanny evolution of empathy
once, sound was all above me
buzz of crickets, shrill cicadas
shook the trees
instead it’s the sharp crunch
of insect bodies
mixed with acorns
beneath my boots
old leaves too
one day they’re tree-bound and wind-rustled
and the next day they show up
seems fraught with some meaning
it is beyond me
like the warmth that slips farther
away each day
I know it is gravity
that does it
but it seems
much heavier than that
Late in October
Playing the odds of one more warm day
the last katydid is hanging tough
while a mantis prepares for hara-kiri.
Nervous chipmunks pool intelligence.
They’re drawing up secret maps
and hiding them in burrows.
I hear each year they forget
where they’ve stashed them
and so must struggle like the rest of us
blinded by frozen eyelids
toward utter hibernation.
Squirrels are in my face
staring right through me
peering for nuts I may have hidden
behind my ears.
I guess I’m no threat now
compared to what’s coming.
The ones who can’t take the pressure
throw themselves in front of cats.
Fault for the Fall
You’re just being cruel
We did all we could
To pretty things up
Trying our best to clean up after you
But it’s a lost cause and we know it
Tree-loads of leaves are down
Seeds strewn around
Berries rotting on the ground
The sidewalks are all sticky
With odd fruit no one wants
Getting fat is making sense
Already, some of us have given in
Ice on the sunflowers
Is scaring the birds
You’re holding summer hostage
Isn’t that enough?
Not only that
When I walked out the door
You threw my hat in the dirt
And your killing spree
Goes on and on
I know for a fact
The doe on the highway
-text by Tullio DeSantis
Entangled up in Love – Tullio – 2017
The Brain in a Grain of Sand – Tullio – 2017
The Mind of a Drop of Rain – Tullio – 2017
Pery Burge died in February of 2013. She was a gifted artist/scientist.
Our collaborative works are on YouTube.
This piece is entitled “Cosmological”.
I wrote and performed the music.
Pery created the visuals in the Thermofluids Lab of Exeter University, in the UK.
Secret Life of Thoughts – Tullio – 2017