God had been away from earth awhile.
Not long. A hundred megayears
or so. Just long enough to launch
his second project - further earths,
more humans running them,
a chain of Edens stretched across
the universe on likely planets
brought to his attention
by some drinking friends of his.
"What's happened here?" he cried,
on looking out first morning back.
First to answer was his P.P.A.
"difficult to say," my Lord.
"Nothing we could put our fingers on.
We kept a watchful eye. Things seemed
to go on down there much as always...
except perhaps for this: it seems
they were too burdened by a goodness excess;
too many good ideas, religions, saints and cultures -
and all of them in competition with each other.
And then again: no father figure in your absence, Lord.
That seemed to be a major influence.
You know how kids behave
when they are sure they've got it right
and so are out to please."
"I do," said God. "a fractious, independent lot,
far too competitive - combative even -
selfish, greedy, kudos-driven..."
"How did the project go, my lord?"
asked angel 137, to divert him from
his negative direction.
"Well! Really well, I think,"
I've axed the tree of knowledge this time round.
Give that a whirl, I thought. See how it goes."
"Good move, my lord!" That from the P.P.A.
"I'm not so sure," a quiet voice said, doubtfully -
the head of heaven's civil service joining in.
"Knowledge and revolt are part of growing up.
Without them they will live in innocence for ever."
"We shall have to see," said God.
"I've kept my options open - might throw down
an apple tree or two if things get stuck."
"And what of all the flora and the fauna?"
a trainee angel asked his lord. "Will that
be as it was on earth for your Phase 1?"
"Indeed," said god "the tried and tested will be there.
All my old models that have proved their worth,
plus one or two new prototypes, a neohorse,
for instance. That should take the humans down
a peg or two. I'd love to beat them at their silly game!
"What game is that?" asked the chief clerk.
"Their G.M. game. To hear them talk you'd guess
they were the first to think of it! - Oh, and then
there's X.V.4/3.7 don't forget."
"X.V.4/3.7!" the cry went up. "You've populated that?
"Indeed," said God. "Why not?"
"Well, how?" they asked. "It's anti-life!"
"Oh, don't you start!" said god,
"That's why. I'm tired of humans
looking everywhere for life on other planets,
saying with great relish:'No,
it can't be here... or here... or there. Not at all
like earth. Too hot. The atmosphere could not
support life as we know it.' - As we know it,
their own words, but still the cliche doesn't drop
for them. And so I've set up planet X.V.4/3.7.
There's life sans oxygen, sans water, sans the lot -
sans everything they think that life must have.
Too hot, I've made it. Too much pressure there.
Let's see what they make of it!"
"What sort of life then has it, god?" the trainee asked.
"One based on silicon..." - the angels nodded wisely -
"and nicotine and arsenic," he finished with
a flourish that was quite out of character for him.
They were not nodding now. There was a silence,
deep and most profound. Such a silence
as heaven had not known before. Not one sound
from anywhere. They all just stared at god. Gobsmacked.
extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
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Love X.V.4/3.7 - a companion to Acheron, perhaps?
Oh, excellently conceived and executed Dave! Board meetings in heaven just the same kind of hell!
Great ending, and love the Shakespeare seven ages of man insertion - was just reading that a couple of nights ago... sans everything.
Wonderfully sustained tone throughout too. All in all, a cracker!
Loved the way you did this. Mindst you I suspect they'll get to planet X.V.4/3.7 and decide it's a 'silly con' ;-)
Sorry, couldn't resist the play on words.
Or should that be "GoDsmacked?" lol
this is my favourite line... "Knowledge and revolt are part of growing up.
Without them they will live in innocence for ever."
overall, i love your poem. reading this, ALL the planets in our little galaxy could be inhabited. by silicon, nicotine and arsenic *wink*
imagination is magical,
one can create anything one wants..
thanks for the wit and humor in it...
Is this meant as a warning to us all, Dave - if so it has been successful.
Bravo! Great piece, gripping right through.
X.V.4/3.7 is the latest version of my operating system. Do you think there's a world inside my computer?
Great piece. A gobsmacking God is fun.
Fantastic piece. Gos is fed up!
Thank you for your dear friendship here in the blog-world.
Please stop by today to share a special moment with me if you have the time. Warmly, c-
Mmmm... are you casting me as Charon, by any chance?
Thanks for the comment.
Wow! Well, thanks for all that, he said blushing slightly, but secretly chuffed!
Loved the play on words! Thanks for the response.
God an abuser? Never!
Now there's a thought... maybe they could at that. Stuff lives at the bottom of the ocean in thermal springs at temperatures they go on saying are too great to support life.
Many thanks for that. So true, so easily forgotten. Have a great day.
Weaver of Grass
I didn't conceive it as a warning. Perhaps an outlet for frustration at the certitude which has informed some pronouncements and prophesies of late.
Much thanks. Very grateful for the feedback.
I suppose I should pretend to have known it was an O.S. and claimed some great significance for it, but in fact it seems to have been another small example of the web's synchronicity.
Thanks. Yup, I reckon he's entitled to be!
Thanks for that . Will certainly do so.
Well you've read my first two books, Dave, so you know this is totally down my street. Well done.
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