Birds sing in the morning because the air is crisper, better transporting their song to potential mates, perhaps perched in the crooked elbows of trees, of which there are more than stars in the Milky Way—and past ten thousand of those, by the way, the human music of our oldest radio broadcasts has already travelled. There are glass sponges of the East China Sea who have been living their long, unruffled lives for eleven thousand years already, but the oldest living organism is a two hundred thousand year-old seagrass. Among scientists, there’s a rumour that everything actually makes sense and is connected to everything else in profound and astonishing ways. Nothing in the universe touches but everything talks, is prone to gossip and singing. The largest living organism is a honey mushroom, spanning three subterranean miles of Oregon. Or is it Pando, in Utah, the “trembling giant”, a colony of quaking aspen, each drinking from the same tangled root? The largest living animal is the blue whale: Baleanoptera musculus, containing also the largest and slowest heart. There’s a bird in the mouth of every whale, teaching its host the Greatest Hits. The whale is grateful but secretly resentful of the bird for its expertise. As soon as the whale opens its mouth, the bird will drown, so it’s crucial to lock down the repertoire. Elephants enjoy dancing and have been known to shed a tear, if so moved by the music. They love violins best. But they’ve been falsely accused of embellishing the vast unfurnished vestibules of atoms with violin music. Elephants want you to know they would never do that, and if you’ve said otherwise you’ll be hearing from elephants’ lawyer. Don’t believe everything you hear about elephants, but you can Google this: two herds marched twelve hours to the house of a man who had rescued them, when they were rogue and marked for death. Two days they held their vigil, then turned back into the bush. The man had died suddenly—how did they know? And how did the herds return the next year, the same day? Scientists and I suspect a fifth force of nature, stitching the visible world to its shadow. Nine out of ten prophets agree: the miraculous is mostly an intrusion. The only one I like is Saint Francis blessing the wolf, calling him brother. Between us, there’s a rumour this poem actually makes sense, that its parts are connected. Understanding is miraculous, don’t you think? I mean, an intrusion. I mean, since Moses couldn’t see God’s face and live, God turned around.