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Good Luck Human Race

September 2, 2016

There have been days
Endless seeming days of relentless rain
Cold sunless days when the sky is all broken cloud
And all over the world, days with no water at all
Days that remind us that we cannot control this planet.
We can tidy up the messes we make
But we might still poison ourselves with our own filth.

We may say we have ten years to save the world
Or twenty years, or a generation to find new energy resources
But what does the earth think of our notion of time?
So far the hominid tribe has lasted six million years or so
Not as long as insects, or crabs, or most kinds of plants
It’s longer than many species we’ve managed to make extinct
But this planet we’re on is four and a half billion years old at least
Just fifty million younger than the sun
And if it finds our presence too irksome
How hard would it be to shrug, sigh and with a mighty heave
Make this, like every other planet we know
Unfit for human habitation?
We presume too much to speak of saving the world
But the world may choose to dispense with us.

The human species can do many marvellous things
We could choose to finish with sex
Let women fertilise themselves
Or men may survive by making clones
What a lot of precious time would be saved
If we didn’t have to relate to each other at all.
If we use up all the air and water on earth
Perhaps some of us could adopt another planet
And feed on that for a while
That’s what we do, apparently
A perfectly natural way for animals to behave
We already let millions die right here
So what does it matter if we abandon our poorer specimens
So long as the species survives?

It’s not all been selfishness
You could say some people’s sacrifices or achievements
Amount to more than anything done by an ant
I’d love to believe I’m one of those few
But as I’m not I must take comfort
From what we’ve learnt or found or got.
So good luck human race
There will always be difficult choices to make
Voracious greed has served us well till now
But perhaps the time has come
To think about how we exist on earth
Because the earth doesn’t need to think about us.

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From → Poet

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