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"The Beauty of Redundancy"

By Amy Irish

Nature always has a backup plan.

Seeds come prepared with multiple routes, 

not just stuck with fur to catch a ride. See,

mass production is the modus operandi—


For growth of ideas, as well. Burs cling

to mental fuzz or spill forth from the guts 

of those who ingest. Enough then germinate 

in fertile soil, enough to spread the word.


See, it’s a numbers game. Lady Nature herself 

invented the table actuarial, then snuck 

free will in on the sly. Now, our writing 

destiny moves onward to her destination.


Some even speculate the sum of monkeys

(presumably banana-fueled) Nature could use 

to bang out worthy words. Not just limericks,

but revelations ala Angelou or Hawking.


Surprise! We are those monkeys (albeit 

hairless, lately) given language and set to task 

for many a thousand years, recreating Her message

over and over to our recreated audience.


Let’s say I’m one in a million. Today,

Nature has 8,000 “unique” minds like mine

sprinkled at intervals, Fibonacci precise.

Together we curl like a perfect leaf of fern.


Each of us obsessed with capturing Her beauty

until—full stop. The sound of 8,000 strong 

is silenced as we realize our redundancy,

feel the pull of Nature’s puppet strings.


Together we consider all the words

we writers have ever written. Together 

we wonder exactly what Nature 

is hoping we’ll say. Something


About Her seasons, it seems, 

in prose or rhyme or song. Because the pit 

of every poem—the center of every 

sumptuous, ripe, linguistic fruit— 

Is a metaphor of rebirth. And we decide, after 

a millennium, it’s still a taste that bears repeating.

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