On the rim of a galaxy's cosmic range
lives a planet circling its star's embrace
where all are prisoners of physical being,
relentless time for impending change,
condemned to run a death-bound race
through lifelong pursuit of seeing
beyond an existence so brutally strange
it stifles their sense of visionary grace -
eternity before birth and after death,
infinity of direction and size,
unity of inner and outer space,
all a universal spirit breath
in dreams would make them wise
to the loving series of fertile and fruity
cycles of beginning, passage and return
by lunar phases and solar seasons,
their global mother's gravid beauty
as bee to stamen and egg to sperm.

But humans proliferate such hungry cries
of each alone with self and pity,
dread the passing of youthful prime,
so carve from Earth this narrow stage
of conjured death as tribal deity,
dispense with blessings the holy crime
as seven billion egos in fearful rage
briefly deny each body's measure
by crowning the power that cuts its time
as King and hero, Senator and sage
who sternly tax all work and pleasure
to self-describe an eternal mind,
though personally stunned by physical fate,
push headlong their technical future
to greater shares of stolen treasure,
its pregnant baloon must forever inflate,
but if Nature storms a fatal rupture
and multi-millions fade and sicken,
build a paradise of financial blocks,
clasping the power of class distinction
like witless, overfed, now cornered chickens,
seeing no escape from their phantom fox,
dash straight into jaws of self-extinction.

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John Talbot Ross