Techno by necessity,
classicizing on a glorious whim,
our buildings house the persistent idea
that no stretch of terrain anywhere in the universe
cannot be balanced on a fulcrum placed midway
between wilderness and city, the howling emptiness
and the whisper of a weary and thereby corrupting plenitude.
So the art we foster is mostly pastoral.
The science, too. Among our brightest minds
are some we haven’t seen for years, so lost are they
in the wilderness out there, where, each with its amusing mix
of specialists, our teams of scientists seek the savage numbers
that theory requires but will know how to utilize only when their infinite
is turned into a garden and taught to be elegiac. And to fear death,
though they will never know it. Numbers can’t know anything.
Unlike our scientists, who build all sorts of certainties upon them.
Just like artists, to hear them tell it. The confident ones, at least,
and thus the numbers need us, to make them feel useful
here at the Academy, where we battle the grains of dust
whose countlessness is inedible, our daily bread, but also
back on Earth, where the semi-annual report on the full range
of our activities is eagerly awaited. Or so we imagine,
along with the possibility of green in this raw and rusty place.