Friday, May 27, 2011

Science Tells Us

Science tells us
So many
Astonishing things
Of late
That I find it
Very difficult
To keep au courant
Even though
I consider myself
To be
An educated man
For instance
There are more galaxies
In the known universe
Than there are
Grains of sand
On all of the Earth’s beaches
That’s a lot of sand
That’s a lot of galaxies
According to the
US bureau of the census
There are approximately
6.2 billion people
Living on the Earth
Even as we speak
6.2 billion
That’s a lot of people
That’s a lot of mouths to feed
All of us
Trying to make a living
On this speck of dust
Revolving around
A fairly common
Run of the mill
Middle aged star
That we earthlings
Like to call Sol
Plain old Sol
Good old Sol

Just a little closer to Sol
And Earth would be
An airless, waterless
And lifeless
Piece of rock
Somewhat like Mercury
Poor Mercury

A little farther away
And Earth would be
A frozen snowball in space
Somewhat like Neptune
Poor Neptune
But we are
The fortunate one
We are
So very fortunate
To be in the
Goldilocks Zone
Cosmically speaking
Where it is
Not too hot
Not too cold
But more or less
Just right

That is
Unless we continue
To FUBAR the planet
As we are currently
Trying so hard to do
In our own
Inimitable fashion
Aren’t we cute?

These facts
Taken as a whole
Are disturbing enough
And it makes me wonder
Why we all
Have so much
Trouble getting along
With each other
Given that we are
All living
In the same boat
In the same house
Same house
Different bedrooms
A few of us
Are lucky enough
To have
Indoor plumbing
Clean drinking water
Enough food
To make ourselves become
Morbidly obese

Others of us
Are not so lucky
No indoor plumbing
No clean drinking water
Not enough food to eat
To ward off
And a host
Of other diseases
Primarily caused
By not having
Enough food to eat

So why do we all
Have so much
Just getting along?

Is it because
We are not
Just individual people?
When I see you
What am I seeing?
Are you merely
A single unit
Of humanity
Put together
By happenstance?
Or are you
An entire universe
Unto yourself
Billions and billions
Of galaxies of your own
As numerous
As all the grains
Of sand on Earth?

If I greet you
As the universe
Of complexity
That you are
All that is known
And unknown

If I greet you
Knowing that
You contain
Within you
All that is
And glorious
And wonderful
And awe inspiring
Wouldn’t I feel
To regard you
In a whole
New light?

We should
All change
Our names
To reflect
The names
Of all the known
And unknown
That surround us:

Milky Way
You get the idea

Maybe then
We will begin
To really see
Each other
As the
Wholly worthy
That we truly are

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got
To get ourselves
Back to the Garden

Lyrics by Joni Mitchell

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment