Between Birdsong and Boulder

by Bob Ambrose Jr.

Between Birdsong and Boulder – Poems on the life of Gaia

Between Birdsong and Boulder ( is a collection of poems that covers the science-based story of the cosmos in lyric form. It follows the arc of life on Earth personified by Gaia – her birth, her nurturing presence, her tenacity, her ultimate fate. 

The book opens with an invitation, Will You Come, Too? ( and a Prelude, So It Goes. The main body is divided into four sections of poems. The first, Who Grapples with Angels and Demons, pursues the story of humankind out of the mythical Garden. It moves from lament for the lost cradle, through migration to dominion and the coming of a modern consciousness. 

The second section of poems, From So Simple a Beginning, reinterprets the Genesis days of creation in light of current science. It follows the unfolding of our universe from the Big Bang to the first light and the formation of stars and planets. With the birth of Gaia in Earth’s Hadean Eon, the poetry traces the major turns of evolution through multiple cycles of creation, destruction, and re-creation, from primitive cells in the Archean oceans to the flowering of life across the globe. 

The third section, When Gaia Arises to Cleanse the World, speaks in a prophetic voice to the growing destruction of our present epoch and Gaia’s eventual recovery in a time beyond the Anthropocene. It foresees an Edenic age when sentience lives in harmony with Gaia.

The final section, The Science of Remote Abysses No Longer Shelters Man, is haunted by visions of a world running down. Poems explore the far future, from a time beyond humans to the death of Gaia and the ends of Earth, the sun, the stars themselves. The book ends with the breath of hope in a dark, empty void and an Epilogue, Beyond the Elegant Equations.

Running through this collection are hints of transcendence beyond scientific paradigm and religious doctrine. Evoking the rhythms of scripture, the poems express a sense of wonder at the enormity of it all, yet find a quiet comfort and belonging in our niche between the ephemeral and the everlasting – between birdsong and boulder.