An Elegy for Humankind

Day 24 Of NaPoWriMo 2018.
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Let’s put this in perspective:
I’m but a blue marbled speck of dust
Circling a pedestrian, middle aged,
yellow dwarf in the backwaters of a
Common spiral galaxy.

My inhabitants, come and go constantly,
The dinosaurs lived for 165 million years,
Compared to them, you’ve been here a tenth
Of a percent. Yet, in that time, you’re
My most special inhabitant: in mere ten thousand years,
You have built civilizations, you have reached my moon,
You have reached for the stars. You are capable of
Creating things of incredible beauty, and
you’re capable of contemplating you own existence.

But, you’re also capable of incredible cruelty, greed, and war.
You create, but you also cause much death and destruction.
You have created an existential threat because of your
penchant for burning the
Remains of your fellow dead, extinct species.

You have evolved to be at the apex of all the species,
You’re endowed with a beautiful mind,
but do you have enough wisdom?
What you do will wipe out many other species,
But make no mistake, I will still be around,
But I will be inhabitable to you and your kind,
I will go from hospitable to hostile.
Will you walk in the steps of the dinosaurs?

There is still time, show me you’re my proudest achievement!

The prompt was:

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. But we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy that has a hopefulness to it. Need inspiration? You might look at W.H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats, which ends on a note suggesting that the great poet’s work will live on, inspiring others in years to come. Or perhaps this elegy by Mary Jo Bang, where the sadness is shot through with a sense of forgiveness on both sides.

I realize, I generally write a Earth-day poem. This time I haven’t. So with today’s prompt, the idea was to try and combine Earth day with an hopeful elegy, of sorts. I feel a bit heavy handed approach to today’s poem, but I have been short on time.

Pigs Get Fat

Day 23 Of NaPoWriMo 2018.

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The thing is anyone can see that there is
‘Big difference between the ox and the whiffletree,’
But many are ‘pert as a cricket,’ or ‘fine as frog fur,’
Happily calling it rain, when someone’s pissing on them.

But, talking anything rational with them is more
Like ‘burning daylight,’ or ‘whistling up the wind.’
I mean it takes a special someone with,
‘too many cobwebs in the attic,’ to believe someone who is
‘slicker than a slop jar or a boiled onion.’
I mean, come on y’all, howdayya believe someone who,
‘Knows more ways to take your money than a roomful of lawyers.’

Look, I tellya, ‘if that ain’t a fact, God’s a possum.’
Don’t believe anyone who can ‘chamber-of-commerced it’,
Don’t believe anyone who is ‘all hat and no cattle,’
Think for your selves y’all, ‘he’s all gurgle and not guts.’
And you don’t believe me, but I tell you
‘he’d steal the flowers off his grandma’s grave.’
He’s already known to
‘steal the nickels off a dead man’s eyes.”

Wake up y’all, otherwise just remember,
‘Pigs get fat, and hogs get slaughtered.’

Today’s prompt was:

And now for today’s (optional) prompt! Kate Greenstreet’s poetry is spare, but gives a very palpable sense of being spoken aloud – it reads like spoken language sounds. In our interview with her, she underscores this, stating that “when you hear it, you write it down.” Today, we challenge you to honor this idea with a poem based in sound. The poem, for example, could incorporate overheard language. Perhaps it could incorporate a song lyric in some way, or language from something often heard spoken aloud (a prayer, a pledge, the Girl Scout motto). Or you could use a regional or local phrase from your hometown that you don’t hear elsewhere, e.g. “that boy won’t amount to a pinch.”

I have done a similar poem using Texas sayings back in 2016, thought, I would use the concept again. Texas sayings, and many of these are probably used in other southern states too, are colloquial, colorful and some are plain, ole’ downright funny.