Ode to My DNA
By Chelsea Page-Collonge

(c)  2003

Present in every living thing 
You direct my growth from cell to breath 
Too small for radar 
your words encode my body 
my tangible presence 
You connect me with all life 
bonobo chimpanzee to California poppy 
yet make me unique 
wheat­colored hair  swollen joints 
Oh spiral fishing line  you connect my parents 
to their maybe­grandchildren 
Lie snug in my egg cell 
in the pink pillow of my womb 
All this wonder wound tight 
in your bouncy spring 
And DNA,  I fear for you 
bringer of order yet so mutable 
mutateable  and like radiation, invisible 
Another Chernobyl  bunker busting nukes 
or even the cell phone in my pocket 
could scramble your wisdom 
make my babies born with open skulls 
or heart defects like the kids of Belarus 
Seaborg invented it here  on Berkeley campus  plutonium manufactured to kill enemies, 
it can extinct whole species 
with its gamma­attack on the genetic code of life 
You created us, DNA 
Don't let us destroy you 
Encode new proteins  for a brain that thinks ahead 
a heart that respects life 
Help us evolve

She Danced
By Marie Molloy

(circa)  1995

She danced on the stoney surface of the suffering desert,
never wincing,
ever weaving,
gyrating, gesturing
to convey her stories in motion,
gracefully, clearly.

She dripped pale green goop on a painted plastic planet,
bowling us over with the impact of that image
of Washerwoman God cleaning up our messes.

We bowed our heads in shame with good reason
a pilot’s picture of the chicken-poxed desert
where our “god-bomb”
has defaced the earth’s surface,
melted down its innards, poisoned its life-giving water,
and polluted
its clear air about us well
with insidiously penetrating alpha particles.
Savage sacrilege
of our Creator’s sacred creations.

(Written after a visit to the NNSS
where Sr. Mary Ann Kirk danced barefoot
during the liturgy on the desert.)

The Golden Rule
By Robert Majors

It starts with the golden rule
Treat each other as brothers do
Why would you do the things you knew
Would terroriz your every move
Break all the rules, but just to live
Point a loaded gun at your head
Poison your food before you eat
Talk with no one listening
Now tell your kids to go to school
And have them break all the same rules
Make sure they eat before they leave
They yell "No" but who's listening
Not you and I may be the same
About the men we fly those planes
Over, Admit
it would be wrong
If they flew them over your son
If we treat them
how we expect
They will treat us,
then what is left
For the children when we are dead
Kill them, or become targets, No
A Joshua tree is watching me
While I walk to Indian Springs
The guard at Creech has armed his gun
The sun is tucked under my arm
I walk for peace,
But run for God
To feed the bread
the Sun has brought
I start to speak,
but not for long
The cops have come
The gun is drawn
The sheriff said I need to leave
I said I need him to believe
That how we treat the world is wrong
Patrolling planes and dropping bombs.
We’re staring down a camera lens
At innocent civilians
Who traveled in the distance
Of our invading militants
We drop the bombs when they start to pray
Through the screen they’re not the same
As us
We’ll never forget
They may choose to remember this
It seems the world’s controlled by fear
We grip our swords and raise our spears
It won’t seem to disappear
We put our shields to our ears.
And blame it on China’s bigger gear
Like what if they fight us and we’re not prepared
Failure to plan is a plan to fail
But why do we plan to kill
Why can’t we plan to heal
When the world has gotten ill
Drop our swords and burn our shields
And make love of a battlefield
We can procreate a state of mind
That will erase the borderlines
That separates all the kinds
Of men that are alike inside
We will be free to reunite
Feel not the need to hate and fight
We will turn water into wine
Each cup will spill the fruits of life
Yes it starts with the golden rule
And it ends with it too.

Robert Majors is the Event Coordinator for NDE. He is also a student at UNLV, working on a degree in Civil Engineering. A portion of this poem was published in Desert Voices (June 2017)