Saturday, May 15, 2010

O is for oblivion and oblivious

(oblivion  n. the state of being forgotten, 
as by the world eg five minutes of oblivion
oblivious  adj. unmindful; unconscious
[followed by of or to])
see also 'obvious'

As in the world
(a few millenia of oblivion) 

What are the names of those birds
who used to make my ears ring fifty
years ago with their announcement
that the sun had risen again? Which
lizards are now becoming extinct?
Have I ever seen them? The photo in
today's tabloid shows an orange-
headed specimen. Researcher
Barry Sinervo of the University
of California's Department of Ecology
and Evolutionary Biology is quoted
as referring to 'the tip of the iceberg'.
Don't our modern-day (that is to say
evolved) icebergs come in chunks
with flat tops on which polar bears
steer by the Southern Cross to return
home and die trying? The whales
can teach us re-population is possible.
Do we really need that information
as a species? - we're doing quite well.
In the fight. The competition. The
losing battle. I am cheered when
one honeyeater taste-tests my garden.
Then I try to photograph silver princesses'
beautiful pink dresses, their globular
gumnuts, against a sky pasted white
a pall blocking out sun, and later -
moon, all stars. The flowers are black.
The birds flee, hearing the sliding door
warning of my entrance to sanctuary.
A worm in my earth is rare. Individual
new insects make brief appearances.
What are their names? Have they tried
out this garden, this district, this climate
zone, this planet, and found it wanting?
Was it a wasted trip into existence?
As our own existence is momentary
in comparison with the Earth's*, so
is all life. I look at crocodiles, turtles
and cycads, who have proven track records
and wish them a fruitful inheritance.

* The website has a feature on climate change
from the introduction of which this is a tiny extract.

No comments:

Post a Comment