Richard Fein
Intelligent Design

To a trout a beaver is god, a demiurge builder of dams
who summons waters to rise and create whole worlds
out of meadows barren of troutkind.
Trees are felled by divine incisors
and aqueducts scooped by those same lordly teeth
to float lumber to their appointed places
and turn once heaven-high towers
into planks of the grand design.
But there are even more beaver wonders.
Amid the lacustrine miracle the beaver constructs a cathedral of logs,
a heavenly lodge where that god ascends to some higher cosmos
far beyond what water-bound trout can ever hope to fathom.
What cleverness. And what purpose.
For without purpose clever creates only intricate chaos.
And what could that purpose be
other than to give trout dominion over these waters.
But this trout's world is truly a creation of a beaver's instinct
to dampen trickling waters by damming them.
A universe built by seemingly brainless obsession.
Yet there is divine mercy in being fishbrained
in finding a purpose behind creation, even the wrong one,
in never consenting that only by happenstance
aimless trout drifted into this beaver's world,
just flotsam in that indifferent rodent's eye.
There is an intelligent kindness to all troutkind
in keeping them buoyed above the mystery
haunting the deepest waters of the beaver's lake.