@ 27.105 MHz: Stellarings; The Going Before [A Long Poem]

Our first task (and the longest in terms of

calendars and clocks) was purgation

of  humankind's base prejudices and

hatreds:  war, first and foremost, and, with it

our frail susceptibilities to plague

and to the cancers that our own bodies

confected in a sort of suicide

plot of which no one's mind could have foreseen,

Then, after that, murder, pillage, and rape;

crimes (grand and petty) were cast out of us

through many generations of careful

selective breeding and informative

courses.  The last to be abandoned were

the personal foibles and flaws that lurked

within us and between us to obstruct

the fullest blossoming of our species.

Creation and construction followed, next;

and preparation brought production to

its highest peak and full accomplishment.

The centuries denominated as

the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first---

these eras of our ancient history---

had been merely a comic parody

of fully human capability;

and sometimes a deceptive travesty.

So we destroyed their tangled legacy,

and started over, in earnest this time---

which was our time to answer the great call

to "multiply upon and dominate

this world"---a few words a long lost poem,

of which no copy now exists for us.

But missing texts do not provide pretexts

or contexts for failures, reluctances,

or hesitations to  the work---

that urge that thrummed through all our flesh's cells,

that quivered in our bones, and seized our minds

like voices rasping dryly in our heads.

All that we had destroyed to clear away,

we rebuilt to a thousand-fold or more.

No cheap sideshows of entertainment or

distraction interfered with, or curtailed,

our concentration on our species' task.

We built up; then we built much further up;

we dreamed, designed, projected and proposed;

collectively approved after debate

and, as collectively, brough into form

for any purpose that we had desired.

The fossilized bones of the ancestral

dead now reposed beneath foundations that

we had raised; those elders---who among us lacked

even the least of their identities;

who had not dared to hope to execute

such plans and aspirations---now reposed

within foundation trenches just as deep

as those that oceans once fully concealed.

Of course, our pride compelled our efforts toward

these goals.  The skills and talents we possessed

fulfilled our exaltations of success.

We sought no idols, no priests, and no poems

to spur us on to greater glories for

our satisfaction:  we needed ourselves---

our wisdom, artistry, experience,

and full ambitions---only just ourselves:

alone upon this minor planet in

orbit around a mediocre star

at one edge of a relatively small,

chaotic galaxy.  By all measures

of which we were aware, we were alone

in all the cosmos, here to demonstrate

the full expression of the very height

of quality in countless quantities.

Ten thousand generations, all long-lived,

had labored with devotion to this great

vocation, to finish the edifice

the monument to our unique and full

existence in this otherwise empty

and vast expanse we called the universe.

So we declared a celebration for

ourselves at this completion of ourselves,

a jubilation in praise of ourselves.

And certain urges---once called primitive,

that we believed we had abandoned---surged

through us and thrummed in us the old desires

that we had not permitted to distract

us from our duties to our glory; but,

we gave ourselves up to them with great joy,


But during our extremest revelries,

the interlopers' huge vessels appeared

upon our skies; these humanoids (of

much greater stature and intelligence

beside which, in both aspects, we seemed as

mere runts or petty imitators) said---

no, they demanded---that we must concede

to them as the Proprietors of all

that we possessed.  They told us that they had

compelled our evolution just for this,

to profit from busy activity

of others on whom they looked down through eyes

that blazed in baleful multiples upon

their heads that look like strange, alien beasts'.

To them, we forfeited all that we had;

they took possession of what once was ours,

and valued even one of these far more

than all our lives gathered into one sum.

Those few of us that they have not yet killed

serve them on petty errands or as clowns,

humiliating ourselves as they wish.

Some of us they have mutilated for

amusement or the curiosity

of how to recombine anatomy.

Thus, I have screen myself from your direct

sigh, for I am more hideous than you

or I can bear.  Tonight they will subject

me to another laughing surgery

as I experience the kind of pain

that they impose, the untold agony;

I hope they err and accidentally---

or with a conscientious plan---kill me.

I have no stomach to effect my own

demise:  they took my stomach just last night.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

The title comes from Poverbs 16:18.

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