Originally posted 2012. Revised.
Mostly, people are sitting around waiting for it.
It’s not going to be like a tsunami, or a war.
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, the first lamb was tamed…
that it started to fail with the first surveyor who confidently said
“this plot’s yours, 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, yawn, stretch…hello, God.
Turn another direction, there’s another God.
Say hi to that one, too.
It kept them small. 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.
I have some friends — oh, I cannot call them that
as it’s untrue now and will be even more so after this —
there are people I know who are activists.
They think they’re doing something.
They think…I like them because they move 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 they practice.
Because when it comes, it won’t be much different than it is now —
a slew of abandoned houses, a lot of rootless people.
They’ll leave because their wallets betrayed them;
they’ll leave looking for work;
they’ll leave looking for food.
The lawns will recall their heritage
and swallow houses while making jungly noises.
We don’t know what we’ve lost.
We peaked at Lascaux;
all those hunter-gatherers knew it.
We sit waiting for what’s coming.
We ought to be moving though it won’t come
as tsunami or war, not at first.
It will be as it is now.