Here you will find the Poem Thermoregulation in Winter Moths of poet B H Fairchild
How do the winter moths survive when other moths die? What enables them to avoid freezing as they rest, and what makes it possible for them to fly -- and so to seek food and mates -- in the cold? Bernd Heinrich, Scientific American 1. The Himalayas The room lies there, immaculate, bone light on white walls, shell-pink carpet, and pale, too, are the wrists and hands of professors gathered in the outer hall where behind darkness and a mirror they can observe unseen. They were told: high in the Himalayas Buddhist monks thrive in sub-zero cold far too harsh for human life. Suspended in the deep grace of meditation, they raise their body heat and do not freeze to death. So five Tibetan monks have been flown to Cambridge and the basement of Reed Hall. They sit now with crossed legs and slight smiles, and white sheets lap over their shoulders like enfolded wings. The sheets are wet, and drops of water trickle down the monks' bare backs. The professors wait patiently but with the widened eyes of fathers watching new babies in hospital cribs. Their aluminum clipboards rest gently in their laps, their pens are poised, and in a well-lit room in Cambridge five Tibetan monks sit under heavy wet sheets and steam begins to rise from their shoulders. 2. Burn Ward My friend speaks haltingly, the syllables freezing against the night air because the nurse's story still possesses him, the ease with which she tended patients so lost in pain, so mangled, scarred, and abandoned in some arctic zone of uncharted suffering that strangers stumbling onto the ward might cry out, rushing back to a world where the very air did not grieve flesh. Empathy was impossible, he said. A kind of fog or frozen lake lay between her and the patient, far away. Empathy was an insult, to look into the eyes of the consumed and pretend, I know. It must have been this lake, this vast glacial plain that she would never cross, where the patient waved in the blue-gray distance, alone and trembling the way winter moths tremble to warm themselves, while she stood, also alone and freezing, on the other side, it must have been this unbearable cold that made her drive straight home one day, sit down cross-legged in the center of and empty garage, pour the gasoline on like a balm, and calmly strike a match like someone starting a winter fire, or lost and searching in the frozen dark.