Daily Archives: August 20, 2014

Sitting Around

Originally posted 12/13/2012.

No one wants to admit that we peaked at Lascaux.  
No one wants to admit that we were pretty much at our apex
right before the first grain was planted,
before the first lamb was tamed.

It started to fail with the first surveyor
who confidently said
“this plot’s yours, and this plot’s not.”  

No one wants to admit
that we were OK about the God thing
right up to the moment we shook God loose
from a particular geography,
the one outside the hut door.  
Get up every morning, step outside, yawn, stretch…
oh, hello, God.  
Turn another direction, there’s another God.  
Say hi to that one, too.  
That’s how we kept them small enough to manage.

No one wants to admit 
we knew something back then we don’t know now, 
and we don’t even know what it is that we knew.   

No one wants to admit
that it all began to slide
the first time someone paid someone else
to keep Others off their property
and slung one of the names of their God around
as a good excuse for all that spilled blood. 

There are people I know who are activists.   
They think they’re doing something.  They think
they can stop it from coming.
I like them because they keep moving 
now that everyone’s mostly sitting.  
But do they do what’s needed?  

No one can do what’s needed now.  
Not on anything but a small scale,
no matter how grandly we practice.  

When it comes, it won’t be much different than it is now —
miles of abandoned houses,
a lot of rootless people
who left home when their wallets betrayed them.
They’ll leave looking for work.
They’ll leave looking for food and water.

The lawns they leave behind
will remember themselves
and swallow the houses,
making jungly noises as they do.

Soon enough the only thing left will be
a handful of concrete walls
adorned with strange paint
that our distant descendants
will finally have the sense
to adore.

We ought to be moving now
because it is coming,
though it won’t come as tsunami or war,
not at first…no.

It will be as it is now.