Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Science of the Yeti (Poem)

This is a poem I wrote some time ago and entered in a competition that had a theme of cold / snow. It did nothing in the comp, but I sort of like it, so here it is. I got the idea from a line in a newspaper article deriding "the science of the Yeti", by which the article meant the lack of scientific basis for the existence of the Yeti, but I wondered if it could mean something else. What if the Yeti existed, ancient, dignified, ossified, hidden and had their own science? What might it look like? I had a vision of prehistoric climate change denialism, writ large.

It is a cold science; ice-bound, quiet.
No glaciers melt, nor snows fail.

The literature admits of no hard-breathing carbon dragon
putting a teakettle under the bones of the soil.
The mountains remain, permafrosted, inscrutable;
This is evidence for the failure of the little cousins below to move anything material
(despite what they may think, in their lowland sinkholes).

It teaches:
the world is as it ever is, and never will be other
truth is what we experience today and can prove with touching
no deluge is coming to us, none, none to our mountains, none to our snows.

It is a cold science, whitened like old scat
It says to us: You need not change. The world will not.
The homo sapiens’ science is misled.
The floes will not shrink in the sea, nor the waters rise
There is no storm coming to Sagarmāthā
The little cousins need not change, nor need we:

It is a cryptic science, for a cryptid people
Making mysteries of the sillage of disaster in the air

The science of the Yeti tells us the world lies gently upon our backs;
It does not foretell the expulsion of our ancestors from their souls’ repose.

It is a cold science; frozen, ancient.

No species die, nor sentience falls.

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