In biocentric worlds
no sanctuary but death,
cure-all of Man's excess

with kings and lords, ladies and earls
each in turn run out of breath
chasing power to purge their stress

at knaves and lumps, lassies and churls,
born so poor they survive by stealth,
invest some coin, export the mess

on colonial company referrals
of rabble in slow sailing craft,
their bond-indentured duress

a mere clash of religious morals
that mark each lifelong path
with artful games of sex and class

those growing millions conquered the World,
re-enacting imperial wrath
upon the natives like pawns at chess

who yearned to someday grow as virile
empires by rabid commercial graft
with financial verve and technical dash

their hungry billions now overwhelm
as migrant labor to markets adrift
in the busy business of boom and crash

that spark such an atomic quarrel
human life could cease to exist
next year for the price of gas,

or methane suffocates everyone first
up from seas of sludgy swirl
and mountains of unrecycled trash.

Thus in a predatory world,
however rich and precious the gift,
life will turn all to a toxic hash

and summarize the great English bard,
dead exit this bloody school yard
in astral flight after the drama,
death like birth a blessed trauma.

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John Talbot Ross