Aeris Walker’s “Good and Wild and Wonderful” is a prose poem of vast enormity, of the creation of all things by the Master Artist of the universe, who will not rest until this all-encompassing work is complete and perfect. Poems tend to be narratives, snapshots, or observations focused on a particular event or idea, but rarely they stretch out to encompass everything. “Good and Wild and Wonderful” is one of those special poems, and The Dewdrop is so pleased and honored to offer it to readers.
Good and Wild and Wonderful
This endless void has remained long enough. It is time to begin—time for the light.
Let there be light.
A watery orb is suspended in the dimness—shapeless, lifeless, so still, and dark—a
murky drop in the void of the universe. Oh, the things I can do with this, what a
wonder it will be, this liquid sphere of potentiality. It hovers, quiet, waiting, yearning
for its beginning. Now, I will begin.
I shall push the waters down, pour them away from the great beyond, and fill the gap
with atmosphere—air—nitrogen, oxygen, the perfect components for life—yes, life—
to thrive and multiply. The waters below, the air all around, oh so many ideas of how
to fill them, but first—land. It sleeps, submerged beneath the still waters, but I will
call it up, rouse it from eternal dormancy, where its surfaces will touch the new air
and there, I will let it settle—let it dry, let it breathe.
Oh, this land will be wild and wonderful—some parts I will raise up, carve ridges in
its rock, and shape it into spears that pierce the sky. Some, I will flatten, spreading it
out thin and low, laying across the waters. It will be rich, layered, yes, this land will
have depth—variation—rings of dirt and soil and bedrock down to its molten core. It
will have mountains and valleys, cliffs and caverns. A sightless hand could glide over
its surface and know it by its rises and dips, like the face of a lover in the dark. Yes,
yes, this is good.
But there must be more.
It should be filled with life—plants spreading their seeds and flowers unfurling in
dazzling color and trees bursting with fruit and grasses spanning the flat lands and
mosses blanketing the mountains. Like a sea of green, life will cover the land—and
the waters too—yes, growth will spread to the deepest parts. It will cling to the ocean
floor and waver and dance in the moving waters. It will sustain itself—all of it—
spreading and multiplying and thriving in its place. Oh, what a sight. Yes, yes, this is
But there must be more.
There will be order, lights up above to rule the passing of time. Time. Yes, time has
begun. A great light, placed just so, will warm the new life—tell it when to sleep,
where to look, and when to bloom. It will be the planet’s obsession—the unfailing
center of its cyclical journey from season to season. This great light will burn—a heat
so fervent and boiling and bright that it cannot be touched, it cannot be looked upon. It
will hang in the great expanse and sustain all that orbit around it.
There will be many such lights—a number beyond notation—scattered as far as the
darkness stretches and then further still. These lights will arrange themselves in
clusters and patterns and will burn for eons. They will sustain order, marking time and
tilt and turn around the great light, visible to all those on the land. The land. Yes, the
There will be creatures—swimming, slithering, and flying creatures beyond the
wildest imagination. They will have gills, scales, feathers, wings, tails, and they will
be marvelous! Some will own the sky and hug the clouds, light shining upon their
backs. They will glide on weightless wings, high above the earth below—below. Yes,
some creatures will live below. They will bask in warm, shallow waters, close to the
comfort of land’s edges, and they will fill the silence with a bubbling chorus of hisses
and croaks. Others will lurk like mysterious shadows in the darkest, greatest depths of
the seas, ruling the waters in all their enormity. Yes, yes, this is good.
But there must be more.
There will be creatures on the land—lumbering, leaping, slinking creatures of all
shapes and sizes. They will have skin, fur, hooves, horns, stripes, and spots. They will
traverse the tallest trees, burrow in the ground beneath, roam wild and run free, yes,
yes. From the wondrous beasts of land and sea to the smallest insect with invisible
wings; they will share the planet and live in harmony, in order with one another.
It is good, all good, but there must be more.
There must be one—a creature unlike the rest—who is more than skin and fur and fin,
who appreciates the beauty of this land teeming with life and bursting with color, one
who comprehends the order in the orbit of the lights above. One who thinks, who
feels, who loves, who sets its mind and its hands to create and sustain and nurture and
retain all there is to see and know of this new world. Someone who can reason.
Someone like me.
This creature will walk like the animals but will stand erect and upright beside them.
It will run like the animals, with strong legs to carry it to and fro. It will be covered
with skin, on its back, on its hands—skin delicate enough to find the edge of the
smoothest grain of sand, strong enough to grip rock and tree and climb to where the
land and sky meet. These hands will learn through touch—speak through touch, and it
will speak with words—not bellows and caws and growls, but with tongue against
teeth, with precision, with intelligence. This creature is special, it will be nothing like
the rest. It will learn and grow and adapt to where it goes, it will be sustained by the
land, but it will subdue the land—cultivate it, nurture it. Yes, yes, this is good.
And oh, he is marvelous. He stands tall, blades of grass bending beneath his feet. He
walks, uneasy at first, but his legs are strong. He runs through the garden scented with
fruit and flowers and herbs and honey. He follows the sound of birds singing and sees
them perched in pairs on branches. Deer and gazelle pad in the mist. Lambs graze, and
wolves bask in the warm morning light. Lions tussle and nuzzle their young. They all
gather at the river, and he counts them, two, three, twelve, fifty, too many. He strokes
their fur, learns the curves of their bodies, the twist of their horns and snouts and
hooves and bones. He knows them all, names them all, speaks to them all. But they
never speak back. He is alone.
No, no, this is not good, something is missing. There must be more.
There must be another.
A creature like this one, who stands upright and walks on strong legs. It will be
covered with skin, on its back, on its face, on its hands—hands that will wield strength
and grace. This creature will learn and grow and adapt to where it goes. It will be
special—discerning, divining. It will be one who thinks, who feels, who loves–one
who sets its mind and its hands to create and sustain and nurture and retain the beauty
of this new world and know its mysteries. Someone who can reason. Someone like
And oh, she is incredible. She stands tall, blades of grass curling between her toes.
She walks, unsteady at first, but they can walk together now, run together. She is life
itself, as lush and green as the ground beneath her. The other creatures come to greet
her, welcome her, breathe her in and nuzzle her skin, and she laughs.
Yes, yes, she is perfect. It is all good, so very good.
They will lie in beds of clover and gaze up into the great beyond, counting the lights
that shimmer and shoot across the endless black sky, unable to number and name
them all. They will close their eyes against the evening and sleep until morning brings
a new day.
And I think I too will rest now.
Aeris Walker lives in North Carolina with her husband and two small children. An English major and lifelong reader, Aeris writes to create beauty and make sense of her world.