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Monday, October 17, 2005


by Robert M. Chute

As lumbering on land as a
great half deflated ball too awkward
to roll, but submerged this River Horse,
Hippopotamus, becomes an
animate cloud, a four legged whale
dreaming of the sea. But evolution
is so impossibly slow nothing
ever seems to happen -- but of course
it already has and somewhere in
an arctic or a tropic ocean
a whale breaches, blows, and dives,
its history so long it's long forgotten.
While we, we lucky few, we know
where we came from, if we care to listen.

Born near the Chute River, Naples, Maine in 1926, Robert M. Chute taught and conducted research at Middlebury College, San Fernando State (CA), and Lincoln University (PA) before returning to Maine as Chair of Biology at Bates College. Now Professor Emeritus of Biology, Bates College, Chute has a record of scientific publication in Parasitology, Hibernation Physiology, General Biology, and Environmental Studies. His poetry and collage poems appear in many journals including Ascent, Beloit Poetry Journal, BOMB, The Cape Rock, Cafe Review, The Literary Review, Texas Review. His poetry books include a three language reissue of Thirteen Moons in English, French, and Passamaquoddy (2002), and most recently, a three chapbook boxed set, Bent Offerings, from Sheltering Pines Press (2003). He is currently working on a series of poems based on reading scientific journals such as Nature and Science.