Tuesday, January 1, 2008

earth, 2008 ...

"Relentless... awesome...
trudging onward... an invincible monster,
vast and unseizable.
Almost mocking, but worse: indifferent,
for nothing we do impacts its trajectory at all.

On and on with us or without us.
Unfazed by infinity; traversing eternity;
La machine infernale
of which nothing can halt the serene and sinister momentum.

It orbits a cycle, then pausing, resolves, inevitably,
with a sadness, a fatalism, perceived with anxiety in the realms of the subconscious,
as we, poor deluded pompous creatures,
with age and erosion finally shrug in resignation;
always relieved by a resumption of routine;
wretchedly grateful for even a semblance of a reprieve
throw up our hands, raise our eyes to the heavens and sigh:
Ah well… what can you do? What-can-we-do
as, dispassionately, the cycle mutates a little, and recurs?

And with each hypnotic, mesmerizing loop
hope, (God help us) is somehow energized anew!
We are as Sisyphus, making freshness grow in baron moors,
in drought, in fire, in snow - or how could we bear to face each day?
Ha! How's that for a challenge!
The terrible wonder of the human condition
against which daily we anaesthetize ourselves--
taking comfort in our magnetic, orbiting state,
as we may rock our children to sleep,
or as we may strive to sway worrisome ideas from our heads,
searching peace in the repetition of a familiar refrain,
while the marching machine forges resolutely ahead to a perpetual cosmic chant
in which the sum of all human endeavor is less than white noise;
a trifling, inconsequential interference
as invisible on the oscilloscope as the footsteps of tiny spiders;
as inaudible in the vacuum of space as the screams of
massacred peoples, exterminated species -- while the planets sing on
in celebration of their existence like whales in the deep.

Listen… listen… here it comes again… on and on and round and round.
Adrift in the concentric circles of Dante's hell:
a stupefying, unfathomable, unnavigable maze of canals
where ring upon ring of muddy waters lurk below murky skies,
until we have - gratefully - no idea of beginning or end
as the familiar spirographs and distorts geometrically;
or takes fearful, quantum leaps into the unimaginable
as illusions of control and normality recede --
as if they had ever been anything more than a dream."

by janice johnston howie ©2005, 'earth song'