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Studying the Bones

An Artist Lament

We'll probably not make exciting fossils,
you know...
There will just be too many of us
preserved in formaldehyde
and dry, undisturbed graves.

The next great species of intelligent creatures on Earth
should not find it difficult to understand us,
as we will leave so many records
and clues
and material goods.

Surely we cannot totally obliterate
our widespread concrete cities
nor hide entirely our massive
land moving.
The Earth would have to conjure
and gobble
by unfathomable diastrophism
sucking our signs within itself
totally destroying our record.

Despite our present pervasiveness
there is ephemera the account cannot contain.
Where will be preserved
that body of knowledge which dissipated
when each individual died?
Where are the unique ideas
lonely thoughts
that did not quite register in paper
and canvas
and film
and bronze?

What would have been
the extended chain of events
had some of these lost ideas been expressed
and studied?
Would the waves emanating outward
have driven generations of new ideas...
would the energy have, merely dissipated
in evolutionary dead ends?

Where might those lost ideas
have led each individual?
Would there have been
other Einsteins?
More Michelangelos?
Life must have ended
too soon...
for many geniuses to have emerged
altering history's directions.

We live in a brief moment
not truly sensing the great and slow patterns
of an evolving Universe.
Like Mayflies
or less so
in the greater galactic time scale
human emergence has plainly been ignored.

Now we are concerned with the immediate
and mundane...
sensing our mortality...
recognizing that there is an end
and then hiding from that recognition...
tucking it into the unconscious.

My energy and yours
is burning away.
The spirit cannot forever be replenished.
Someday the atoms will dissipate.
Someday we will not be recognizable
by personality and achievement.

We shall be bones awhile.

Some germ of my energy
and uniqueness can live a time
in recorded words
works of art
and in my children.
There is some flame passed on
but briefly.

Perhaps these traces of existence
will be for a few moments
until distances of generations and time
diminish any impact
and the Earth just swallows.

Will there be a chain of continuing
to which we have contributed?
Will there be a thread of thought
woven into the great fabric?
Will there be
generations of children?

What have I touched?



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