H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






For All a Baby Knows


If a baby doesn’t know it has a Mother till it’s born,

what do we not know we have

till after we die?

If a baby doesn’t know it’s inside its Mother

what are we inside of

we don’t know we’re inside of?

A baby in the womb doesn’t know it’s in the womb,

Doesn’t know it’s inside anything,

Has no idea there’s anything outside

the amniotic ocean it floats in,

No idea it’s surrounded by a living being

that has an outside,

A living being breathing, walking, talking, touching,

seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting,

thinking, sleeping, dreaming, loving,

A baby in the womb has no idea

its Mother loves cool September breezes

floating through the twilight window

with cricket dreamtime energy.

And a baby in utero doesn’t know

there’s an outside world

of light and objects

and other pregnant Mothers

with babies inside them not knowing

and human society and history and

geography, geology, astronomy,

zoology, botany, ecology

or an affectionate puppy

that sleeps next to the Mother.

What about us?  What’s outside us we don’t know about?

For all a baby knows what it’s in

extends outward forever

the way deep sea fish

who never come to the surface

or swim to the Ocean floor

never know there’s an Ocean floor under them

or Ocean surface above them with sky above it

and think the Sea goes on in every direction forever?

If a dog can hear a baby sucking its thumb in the womb

and the baby has no idea dogs exist or ears exist,

What do we have no idea of that exists,

that hears our most intimate sounds?

What do we have that we have no idea of

that nurses our just-born souls after death

with invisible milk

from its invisible sweet-smelling breasts?



[Originally published in NHS 2002, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs02/antler.html.]