Tags

, , ,

Cat in the Background

In the Great Rift, the wildebeest wheel and run,
Spooked by a pride of lions which would kill,
In any thousand of them, only one
Or two were they to walk or just stand still.
They can’t see that, nor can we see the tide
Of land go slowly out on either side,
As Africa and Asia come apart
Inexorably like a broken heart.

We measure everything by our brief lives
And pity most a life cut shorter yet.
Granddaughters get smacked if they play with knives,
Or should be, to make sure they don’t forget.
So think the old folk, by their years made wise,
Believing what they’ve seen before their eyes,
And knowing what time is, and where it goes.
Deep on the ocean floor, the lava flows.

__________

“Plate Tectonics” by Clive James, which you’ll find in his excellent anthology The Book of My Enemy: Collected Verse 1958-2003.

Picture: my backyard in Houston last summer.