Nov 6 14
The rest have failed. Corn is the last crop
and that is failing. The planet is a dustbowl,
humans have destroyed too much, and so
we have to leave Earth in search of a new home
one with a reasonable gravity, oxygen and green
grass for that emblematic game, baseball.
The adventure strongarms deceit, bravery and death,
looking for a blue planet, one is just a sea
with enormous waves, another is pure ice.
We sit near the front, aged teenagers holding hands.
While leaving, you said it was depressing,
so on the way home I detour to the lookout.
No sign of whales, just a few Crested Terns
flowing north and two small fishing boats.
Catches have fallen dramatically.
We breathe deeply, smell the sea, dimethyl sulfide
released by bacteria eating phytoplankton,
we detect its briny scent at .02 parts per million.
Wormholes, relativity and cgi make-believe are forgotten,
this is the special effect, the immensity of the Pacific
surfing threads being gathered, blue Viennese blinds.
Phytoplankton are plants and zooplankton animals, then there’s
bacterioplankton and virioplankton, but phytoplankton with
their solar source are fundamental to the oceans’ food web and
siphon carbon dioxide from the air, vital since the sea absorbs
almost half the carbon dioxide we manufacture by burning fossil fuel.
Microbes run life on this planet and could end the reign of Homo sapiens.
There is a moment when the tiny ship drifts along the rim of Saturn’s
outer ring in the silence of space, acute because the soundtrack
is so very loud, just then there’s the thunder of rain pummelling
the tin roof and you thought of the vegetable garden, it’s low tide,
we hold hands again, gaps in the rocks pool an incredible aqua light,
What’s so special is that I share all of this with you.
I remember the moon landing, the fuzzy black and white images, the family watching in the dining room rarely used, for some reason where the TV lived, just recently bought. I read that Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon at nearly four in the morning GMT. Am I imagining watching those grainy pictures at all? How much of space is imaginary?
And of course as George Monbiot puts it, it is an insane fantasy.