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Friday 13 April 2012
Leaving it behind
When we the last man
and part exposed
on some brown hillside
in some upheaval of this crusty earth,
what patient palaeontologist
will be scraping at our bones
removing every trace of stone
and dust to reconstruct us
as we were
and carbonate of soda-blowing us
to some new clarity?
(It's now we need the clarity.)
What shall we have become?
Beyond the next extinction maybe -
who or what will our replacement be?
(For evolution surely will go on.)
One palaeontologist believes
a rodent form comes hot upon our heels
to carry forward what we've left
of our brave world.
Imagine now: the child who would become
Professor Jenny Clark
is leafing through an illustrated book
called Prehistoric Animals:
a kind of magic is at work, she's listening
to the slow sounds
of the Shostakovich Fifth.
She sees and hears
the silent world
in perfect fits
of sound and images. She is
imagining a world
that is not hers. No animals
are here with vocal chords
or feet to crush the undergrowth,
nor any here with ears to hear the silence.
Only the wind and rustlings of leaves
would have been there for ears to hear
when lizard grew to newt and salamander.
Music and a poetry of thought
brought forth the palaeontologist to be.
For what the lines are worth
I'm guessing our successor
will go back to the sea
(It's cooler there;
takes longer to warm up),
but not before, maybe,
he/we have given evolution's ass a kick
manipulating D.N.A. - that sort of thing
to fit ourself/itself
with double vision (light and infra red),
echo location (for transmission,
revelation, proclomation, navigation)
and reformed ourself/itself as spheres
(for better heat control). Perhaps
aquatic rodents armed with souls might fit the bill.
Written (after viewing the BBC film on Dr Jenny Clark - one of The Beautiful Minds series) and for The dVerse Poets prompt Tripping the Cosmos