Fossil Future

It was the best of times; it was the end of times
we’d come a long way,
but had yet to make it
really phenomenal we were
in our discoveries, our progress,
our heightened awareness
of the needs, concerns and lives of others.
Fear, too much in and of our DNA to conquer
at times though, we beat that beast
into submission, never losing sight
of its radical ability to regroup, recoil
and repeat –
the same old program rerun
but with each new airing –
we remembered more and more of the jokes,
the twists, the tricks and surprises
making it all that harder to get us to jump
at leap of cat and screech of violin
after what we’ve overcome (and still had to, in part)
wars and open murder, genocide
rape, religious bigotry and thirst and disease,
hunger, spoiled children, stocking runs
and monopolistic greed…
So many, so far from free – yet it was better
than all of history strung out on the long clothes line behind,
our vermin infested laundry flapping in history’s breeze…
dark streets given light
advancement in sanitation and sewage
justice refined and little undermined
unprecedented crop yields
the world explored: jets and rockets
walks on the moon
leisure hours for art and sport
social bonds built out of happiness, protection, liberty and trust
nature unwrapped, decoded, unraveled
and reassembled into
unprecedented crop yields,
mastery over pestilence and blight,
vaccinations eradicating yesterday’s monsters:
polio, small pox, measles, pertussis –
we had reasons to be thankful –
in our lives of limited hardship
in which comfort was an ideal – Yes, comfort
a state of being only a short time earlier
no word for it existed
We made our water clean and hot and cold
and pumped it straight into our homes
we made our food abundant and available
no animal at any time
in all the Earth ever had it so easy
no wonder people still believed in gods
and blessings
in heavenly favor and salvation
how could we not feel saved
when truly we had been delivered from dark eons
of want, ignorance and brutish existence.
Empathy, care, compassion, altruism –
our global community made it all come true
in outpourings of aid, support and volunteerism
only science could unleash our nature
as the kindly gentle ape
but for all that… for all that
we paid a high cost
at an interest rate beyond the wise men’s
ability to pay
and we got foreclosed on
our ascendancy to comfort was our demise
paid down and erected upon ancient decay
reborn into the air
giving rise to the great boiling storm of our undoing
and we might wonder was it worth it
this carbon road to extinction…
Was it?
For knowledge of our genesis
for insight into when and how it would all end
from start to finish, the entirety of human tenure,
all the universe from bang to bust,
a motion picture flipbook for our opposable thumbs to flicker
the best of times
the end of times
we would all gladly die for it again, yes, we would
and that is a lovely place for us to say, “Goodbye.”

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