What happened

We fell one day
Out of the sea
And said to ourselves
“What next?”
And since there was no answer
We started working on
Lungs and legs
And looking for a comfy little cottage
In Connecticut.
It was not easy
Living in the urgent flux
The place was overcrowded
And loud
You wouldn’t believe the noise
Mostly from unruly procreation
And wild hunger
Not to mention
Rampant curiosity.
We had hordes of houseguests
But no one overstayed
And before we could say
Jack Robinson
Or Annie Oakley
We were frogs
Then turtles
Then just, well, bigness, largeness
Hugeness, enormity
Thundering daintily among
Forests and ferns
All over the mapless planet
Until some delinquent deity
Tossed a fiery chunk of universe
Into Chicxulub’s kiddie pool
And oh, man,
The splash that launched
A thousand archipelagos
And an entire rethinking
Of the project
But not a newt to our name.
So, we rested then for a while
Trying to get our priorities straight
And maybe not as eager as before
To start dating again
Until one day
Along comes ice
And quiet
But don’t let that fool you
It was remorselessly, stone-grindingly
Bone-bucklingly, mountain-pulverizingly
Fuckingly freezingly frigid
And what could we do but
Fur up
I mean huge hair all over our bodies
‘Cause baby
Insulation was not on sale at Cave Depot.
So you had all these fuzzy brutes
Looking for cozy caves with a view
And maybe an in-law grotto and a kitchenette
Where they could spend a perpetual winter
Chewing each other to pieces
And by and by
Through no fault of their own
Voila! The ice changed its mind
And eased on out of town.
Minnesota found itself thoroughly lakéd
And everybody got a nice tan.
Not long after that
Enclosure of the commons
And the Roxy Ricochet Top 40
Featuring none other than the Duke,
Duke, Duke, Duke of Oil
With his Carboniferous Choraleers
Stinking up the joint and
Bunny-hopping us all
Back to the beach where we started
And where now we stand
Ankle deep in apolcalypse
As the waters rise.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at thirdactpoems.com and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.