Astral Heeds

he moon gazed down upon
All the seas and lands,
Began to weep, but ceased
And only smirked:

“Let the seven billion vermin
Perish by the sewer
They have unleashed”

“And the animals will go”
So the stars rejoined, “also”,

“Too bad. Sacrifices sometimes
Must be made,
For the greater good
Of the universe and all”
Was the moon’s pert reply.

“Yes,” the stars enthused,
“We can say (with Ezra)
That the terrorists are the antenna
Of what remains,
Of what once was deemed
Human kind;
They’ve smelt the future
And their reactions
Are keen, and quite fine,
Spots of exploding honesty
Amidst the suckling plasma
Of lies, and cowardice, and other pus.”

“But then,” the moon returned,
“Or rather, maybe not the entire
Seven billion should be wasted,
Just that scurf
That floats upon the top,
Say, a good quarter billion or so,
Those chattering
In their cups,
Every one of ’em
A squatting atheistic sigh
Of empathy
And gloating knowledge
Of themselves,

To have been born
Just now, and here,
The zenith of emboweled enraptured
And truth
And development,
Excepting what’s to come –
Whole administrations of voracious
Like distended arseholes, unending
Rows, stacks, networks of ’em,
Quivering, expectant, suffocating
Miasmas of More, stuffed
Full and wandering round
Shopping malls of integration
And adaptation
And targeted
Insatiable, instantaneous, universal, plunged
In expert certainty
That the world is educating
Into rightness, at the end, at long last.”

Then the moon and stars
Dropped their colloquy
And wandered back
To their pending orbits
And forgot
The blue sphere floating
In its own emptiness,
Still evolving
Amidst a history
That has stopped.

But the earth itself
Had heard their despise
And through the ether
Began its own plaintive hiss:

“The future
Is just more
Human rights
And complacency
And dignity
For these lice

That continually
But never die,
Keep twisting and gnawing
Crawling and burning
Their orgies of triviality
And worthless
As they move towards
Their singularity
Of democratic
While their weight
(Since I bear ’em)
Has definitely declined
With less women
And few men
Although their numbers
Are a total disorder;
It seems the whole race
Is absolving
From anything
That once drove it
To be something
And easeful Nothing
Is baying
Ushering in
A celebration
Of self-congratulation; –
For, these animals
(With their “dignity” and “rights”)
Are having an ascension
And are becoming
Billions of celebrities
Circulating round
The circumference of machines
Which entertain
And drip-feed
And determine
What they may be,
The final dissolution
Into that contusion
Of contempt
Which always threatened

To devour;
But now, or soon
Is made manifest
By the universal resolution
And acclamation
Of all their developed

And here, the earth paused,
But its caw had been heard
And as it resumed
The entire heavenly host
Joined in chorus; the sun
The moon, the stars
And every other planet
All festering, barked:

“Let’s return
To the spectacle
Of relentless
Of beings vying
To display
Their infinite respect
For each others
A comedy,
Since, from their very own
Latest philosophy
None of ’em possess
Any reality,
All being just a flux
Of amorphous death,
A shrug, or kink
In the infinite
Spuming waves
Of atomic nothingness.

And yet they insist
And squawk and cry
On their very own
Infinite worth,
And that their rights
Are also infinite;
Infinite to consume
(As far as banality may)

All that they can
Within their ever expanding
Precious life spans.

It’s enough to make
A rabid dog
Vomit up
Enough ludicrousness
And disgust
To feed a thousand
For a thousand suns.”

And then they ended,
And those sounds trailed off
Into the spaces
Of the unending silences
By any radiation
Or sensory speculations.

* * * * *

Steven Jacks is a Brisbane-based writer now lost to the Chinese economy.


This week is being guest edited by Australian poet Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke.

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