Often I imagine the earth
through the eyes of the atoms we’re made of—
no me, no you, no opinions,
no beginning, no middle, no end,
soaring together like those
ancient Chinese birds
hatched miraculously with only one wing,
helping each other fly home.
Pale gold and crumbling with crust
mottled dark, almost bronze,
pieces of honeycomb lie on a plate.
Flecked with the pale paper
of hive, their hexagonal cells
leak into the deepening pool
of amber. On your lips,
against palate, tooth and tongue,
the viscous sugar squeezes
from its chambers, sears sweetness
into your throat until you chew
pulp and wax from a blue city
of bees. Between your teeth
is the blown flower and the flower’s
seed. Passport pages stamped
and turning. Death’s officious hum.
Both the candle and its anther
of flame. Your own yellow hunger.
Never say you can’t take
this world into your mouth.
If the angle of an eye is all,
the slant of hope, the slant of dreaming, according to each life,
what is the light of this city,
light of Lady Liberty, possessor of the most famous armpit in the world,
light of the lovers on Chinese soap operas, throwing BBQ’d ducks at each other
with that live-it-up-while-you’re-young, Woo Me kind of love,
light of the old men sitting on crates outside geegaw shops
selling dried seahorses & plastic Temples of Heaven,
light of the Ying ‘n’ Yang Junk Palace,
light of the Golden Phoenix Hair Salon, light of Wig-o-ramas,
light of the suntanners in Central Park turning over like rotisserie chickens sizzling on a spit,
light of the Pluck U & Gone with the Wings fried-chicken shops,
the parking-meter-leaners, the Glamazons,
the oglers wearing fern-wilting quantities of cologne, strutting, trash-talking, glorious:
the immigrants, the refugees, the peddlars, stockbrokers and janitors, stenographers and cooks,
all of us making and unmaking ourselves,
hurrying forwards, toward who we’ll become, one way only, one life only:
free in time but not from it,
here in the city the living make together, and make and unmake over and over
Quick, quick, ask heaven of it, of every mortal relation,
feeling that is fleeing,
for what would the heart be without a heaven to set it on?
I can’t help thinking no word will ever be as full of life as this world,
I can’t help thinking of thanks.
One Day on Earth by One Day on Earth
One Day on Earth creates a picture of humanity by recording a 24-hour period throughout every country in the world. We explore a greater diversity of perspectives than ever seen before on screen. We follow characters and events that evolve throughout the day, interspersed with expansive global montages that explore the progression of life from birth, to death, to birth again. In the end, despite unprecedented challenges and tragedies throughout the world, we are reminded that every day we are alive there is hope and a choice to see a better future together.
You can help finish the project here.
Milan Kundera, Immortality
When we are going in a train
At sixty miles an hour,
We marvel at the mighty speed,
And at the engines’ power.
But earth is moving faster far,
Just like a spinning top,
All through the day, all through the night,
Without a single stop.
And as she turns herself about,
She circles round the sun,
At sixty thousand miles and hour,
Her journey never done.
Only so softly does she turn,
Without a jolt or spill,
It took a clever man to find
She wasn’t standing still.