The Flip Side & The Funny Side

      by Pam Crane

The Flip Side & The Funny Side
THE FLIP SIDE
& the Funny Side
Poems by Pam Crane



Copyright 2017 Pam Crane


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THE MISTAKE

All people that on Earth do dwell
Have made themselves a living hell.
Hence the admission I must make:
Creating them was my mistake.
I made an error once before -
I bred the dreadful dinosaur;
I thought my dragons would be fun
With scales that glittered in the sun;
With mighty bodies, tiny brains
They fought and foraged on the plains
And some with feathers learned to fly
Through Gaia’s prehistoric sky.
But after millions of years
With nothing much between the ears
And only fit to be destroyed
I zapped them with an asteroid.

Began again. I made an Ape.
A bigger head, a better shape.
They seemed to know that I was there,
And soon were swarming everywhere.
“Come on!” I said, “Be more like me!
I’m hungry for your company!”
We painted caverns in Lascaux,
I breathed on Michelangelo;
Their voices overflowed with words
And music richer than the birds.
They made so many, many things,
They filled the sky with metal wings,
Their cities with expensive light
No longer wanting sleep at night.
They went from slates and scrolls and prayer
To sending pictures through the air,
From foot and horse and sailing ship
To travel by computer chip.
Now they are choking in their cars,
Their litter orbiting the stars.

Too late to save the forest trees,
Too late for fish and manatees,
Too late to stop the melting poles,
To re-establish gender roles,
Too late to stop them wanting more,
To halt inevitable war.

I visited ... I will again,
Disguised as ordinary men.
But will they listen? Not a chance.
I won’t get a second glance
On local hustings, on TV;
No-one now believes in me -
Or even in the smart machines
That model on dramatic screens
The choices and their urgency
That now besiege humanity.
They hear the scientists’ advice
But carry on. And pay the price.

Yet, if they want to have their cake
And eat it, this is my mistake.
I said, ‘Go forth and multiply!’
Now half will freeze and half will fry,
These billions struggling to be
Immortal and a match for me.
Amid the greed, amid the waste,
My dereliction must be faced;
I let the species dominate
And sealed the lovely planet’s fate,
As rarely has it ever been
My policy to intervene.

Must this creation be no more,
Just like the hated dinosaur?
Shall I now let a meteor crash?
Or tomb them in volcanic ash?
Or drown them in the rising tide
Of filth that is their suicide?
Shall all their tears, and hope, and prayer,
And love, not get them anywhere?
I am the God to whom they turned
In vain when ancient cities burned -
But I am the God who tried to teach
Them grace of life and grace of speech.
What can I do? I made the rules
Kept by the wise, ignored by fools.
What can I do? It’s nearly time,
And still the temperatures climb.
What shall I do? I must not make
My third, and very worst, mistake.


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