I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Friday, 26 April 2013

Evolution Of The English Breakfast

it seems quite crazy that —

after the Big Bang
the scatterballing of the planets
billions of years
of fire and ice and precious
little hospitality
the piling up of continents
pooling of oceans
the deep-sea hydrothermal vents
farting the first bubbles of life
the first fish gulping air
the first bird flaunting feathers
the slow plod of Galapagos
tortoises, the subtle finches
the first ape playing hopscotch —

we come to this banal
morning, epitome of eons
sum of the centuries:

a lipsticked coffee cup
a tear-stained paper towel
two shattered plates
smeared with the carnage
of scrambled eggs, the cooked flesh
of streaky bacon, a pudding
of dried blood, burnt holes
in blackened toast, and fruit
juice dripping on the floor
a kicked-in door
a ‘fuck you’ voicemail message

for God’s sake
let’s move on, evolve
if only to please Darwin

4 comments:

Ruth said...

Your poem expresses what I feel too, Robert! In too many ways it seems like we are regressing. I like how you conjure both God and Darwin in the final stanza, nodding to creationists as you finish up on evolution. And though I smile that you used the English Breakfast as your trope, it's a big serious problem that we humans can't figure out how to get along, with each other, or the planet. Let's evolve just to please ourselves!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for this, Ruth. As usual, you get to the heart of it!

George said...

I suppose the final stanza sums it up for me. Indeed, I seem to be muttering those same words minute by minute as I crisscross the days of my life. In such moments, I often recall that line from Eliot about midnight shaking the memory "as a madman shakes a dead geranium,' and I wonder it that is not the destiny of some of us.

The Solitary Walker said...

George — I love that line, and I love the poem it comes from. On my own in the house last night. Plenty of memories, good and bad, in a restless and broken sleep. Though the wind had died down.