Despite flame and thunder and despite the force of crashing storms,
A lonely sphere; no sound of breathing yet.
But there a tiny shape is stirring;
Spawned in primal seas in times remote,
At first minute, and barely life at all, but living.
And then a panoply of forms so small; ethereal and yet unnoticed,
Construed of shattered stuff of meteors and fabrics of celestial things,
Of rended elements of broken rock and stone,
And mixed in raging floods and pitched in heaving seas,
And fashioned from the dust of stars unknown.
Uncounted change upon uncounted change,
Unnumbered evolutions in unbroken line,
Transforming one kind to a different kind,
A drift from one small place to places everywhere,
Increasing seamlessly in scope and pattern and design.
As season gathers upon season,
And centuries, arranged in one expanding order, run their course,
And so those mighty armies swarm and crawl and glide among the trees;
Earth’s revolving figure, now clothed in garb of brilliant greens,
In skies and ancient grounds and distant seas.
Another aeon; then more aeons, one-by-one,
This giant age gives way to that,
And many diverse forms, so many throngs of different frame and shape,
Attending heat and cold and light and shade,
Some striking forth and some retreating from the dark,
All gifted with the gift of birth,
All struggling and, at end, submitting to the throw of fate;
And, dying, yielding back their substance to the earth.
So many intervals of range beyond imagination,
And centuries where legions vanish and fresh armies take their place,
Through spells of freezing ice and spells of scorching desert,
Unnumbered realms of vast rebirth and those of desolation,
So many gone; of them remaining not one trace.
So it has been; so it will pass for ages still to come,
No gods to blame; but capricious and irrevocable fact,
No spirits to evoke for world’s creation,
A tapestry of truth and not an act;
Life lives for life and not for mankind’s fascination.
For Mike and Linda (12 November 2019)
For more poetry, check out David’s website: https://david.mystatisticalconsultant.com/2019/12/06/a-great-history/