Tis in the silent isthmus-hour of time, where light and darkness have alternate birth.
Everything is receding from everything else and there is no center.
Rock and ice particles swirling around the young sun collide and merge.
Dense iron sinks out of magma oceans to form a metallic core.
One heavy collision flings away the Earth’s crust, part of which ends up in orbit around the planet: the Moon is born.
Amino acids gradually come together into increasingly complex molecules.
A many-chambered shell resembling the ammonite unwinds.
Large trees stretch out their arms across the stream, and the steep, earthy banks are clothed with ferns and zingiberaceous plants.
All is stiff, formal, bright, and green, monotonously green.
Attracted by the pieces of offal and clotted blood which float from a carcass, many large fishes keep darting about, fighting for the dainty morsels.
Laurasia is in two parts, these being separated by the Tethys Ocean, which widens to the east.
The Sea, like the snow-cloud with its flakes, in a calm is always letting fall on its bed showers of microscopic shells, and all pelagic life adds to the showers.
A herd of four-legged Proceratops drifts ponderously in the shadows of the dune fields.
The shining coral reflects shafts of light in every direction.
The glaciers so grandly displayed are of every form, some crawling through gorge and valley like monster glittering serpents.
Now, more than ever, everything new and beautiful seems to arrive already haunted by its own demise.
--for loren eisley and boards of Canada
1. Father Tabb, “Sympathy”
2. Martin Rees, ed. Universe, “Expanding Space” DK, London, 2005 (42)
3. Tim Appenzeller, “Earth in the Beginning” http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/early-earth.html
4. John Valley, “A Cool Early Earth?”
5. Evolutionary Timeline, http://www.worldhistory-poster.com/en/screenshots/science-evolution/early_evolution.gif/view
7. Samuel St. John, Elements of Geology
8. Alfred Russell Wallace, The Malay Archipelago, Ch. 5
9. . Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey, p. 68
10. Eugene Andre, A Naturalist in the Guianas
11. Building Planet Earth, Peter Cattermole
12. Matthew Fontaine Maury
13. Michael Novacek, Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Anchor, New York, 1996
14. Urashima Taro, Japanese tale
15. John Muir, Travels in Alaska, p. 52
16. Caroline Evans, Fashion at the Edge