Share https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2016/jul/Roderick_Dirge.mp3DirgeWhere the dead are buried with shells over their eyes we’re most disciplined, most weary. When their statues come to life the trees come to life.We’re most disciplined and weary when love is an absence, an abstraction like insects in trees come to life. Nature is the calm of a choruswhen love is absent. Or an abstraction, like insects. Or rather: birds sing the purest songs. Nature is the calm of a chorus made of our mother’s wisdom and our father’s tongue.The birds sing pure songs over the statues they soil and stones engraved. Made of our mother’s wisdom and father’s tongue, even the ground has a mood.Over the statues they soil, and stones and graves, the trees come to life. Even the ground has a mood where we, the dead, are buried with shells over our eyes. https://www.terrain.org/mp3/2016/jul/Roderick_Apology.mp3Apology to the Species EndangeredEasy enough now that we’ve revised the bestiary, captured it in pixels and released it on the Net. Our demise is your demise, your hell our hell:oceans brought to simmer, birds concussed against skylines. At least the Pope can download a white tiger from the Tobu Zoo, wallpaper its ghoston his laptop. Consider us late illuminators, or blight—the planet’s sarcoma. We regret we made you the emblemsof sacred scripts. They say Rome ate bluebuck and elephant, ostrich and puma. Serve us with truffle vinaigrette on a white plate. David Roderick is the author of Blue Colonial and The Americans. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, poet Rachel Richardson, and their two daughters.Photo of statue in cemetery by Michael Gaida, courtesy Pixabay.