The rules of chaos are simple: A mountain 
is never a perfect cone. A lake 
is never really a circle. A drop

of dew is not a microcosm. 
No. Flowers wither. 
Dust collects. There is the

relentless return of what we 
do not want. Everything inclines 
to disorder. But then how to

explain this grove of orange trees 
planted so close branch nuzzles branch, 
the whole world in permanent rows?

An illusion, of course. When 
the present for most of us lasts only 
3 seconds. But then how to

explain the man blind from birth who 
sees a person and believes he sees 
a tree on legs. How did he find

the conceit to link such disparates? 
The tactile vision of his past creates the
chaos of his present sightedness.

His world, newly angled, is no longer 
reasonable, but still he relies on what 
he knows. He names what he sees, revising

phylum, genus, class as he goes, 
sometimes standing quite still, eyes closed 
in order to recall the harmony of things.

Jill P. Baumgaertner