“I am quite literally from another age, I was born during the Holocene – the 12,000 year period of climatic stability that allowed humans to settle, farm, and create civilisations. That led to trade in ideas and goods, and made us the globally connected species we are today.
That stability allowed businesses to grow, nations to co-operate and people to share ideas. In the space of my lifetime, all that has changed. The Holocene has ended. The Garden of Eden is no more. We have changed the world so much that scientists say we are in a new geological age: the Anthropocene, the age of humans.” … David Attenborough
Human Habitat; by Alison Hawthorne Deming
Some did not want to alter the design
when the failure message
said massive problem with oxygen.
Some wanted to live full tilt with risk.
By then we were too weak for daily chores:
feeding chickens, hoeing yams,
calibrating pH this and N2 that . . .
felt like halfway summiting Everest.
We didn’t expect the honeybees
to die. Glass blocked the long-wave
light that guides them.
Farm soil too rich in microbes
concrete too fresh ate the oxygen.
We had pressure problems,
recalibrating the sniffer. Bone tired
I reread Aristotle by waning light.
Being is either actual or potential.
The actual is prior to substance.
Man prior to boy, human prior to seed,
Hermes prior to chisel hitting wood.
I leafed through Turner’s England,
left the book open at Stonehenge.
A shepherd struck by lightning lies dead,
dog howling, several sheep down too.
The painter gave gigantic proportion
to sulphurous god rimmed clouds
lightning slashing indigo sky
while close at hand lie fallen stones
dead religion, pages dusty
brown leaf shards gathering
in the gutter yet I cannot turn the page
wondering what I am and when
in the story of life my life is taking place.
Now what. No shepherd. No cathedral.
How is it then that I read love
in pages that lie open before me?