- The Greatest Show on Earth

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November 12, 2015


1.) Four Point Six

Archaean horizon
The first sunrise
On a pristine Gaea
Opus perfectum
Somewhere there, us sleeping

"After sleeping through a hundred million centuries

We have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet
Sparkling with color, bountiful with life
Within decades we must close our eyes again
Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief
Time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe
And how we have come to wake up in it?"
2.) Life

The cosmic law of gravity
Pulled the newborns around a fire
A careless, cold infinity in every vast direction

Lonely farer in the Goldilocks zone
She has a tale to tell
From the stellar nursery into a carbon feast
Enter LUCA
The tapestry of chemistry
There's a writing in the garden
Leading us to the Mother of all
We are one

We are a universe
Forbears of what will be
Scions of the Devonian sea
Aeons pass

Writing the tale of us all
A day-to-day new opening
For the greatest show on Earth

Ion channels welcoming the outside world

To the stuff of stars
Bedding the tree of a biological holy
Enter life
We are here to care for the garden
The wonder of birth
Of every form most beautiful

3.) The Toolmaker
After a billion years
The show is still here
Not a single one of your fathers died young
The handy travelers
Out of Africa

Little Lucy of the Afar
Gave birth to fantasy
To idolatry
To self-destructive weaponry

Enter the god of gaps
Deep within the past
Atavistic dread of the hunted
Enter Ionia, the cradle of thought
The architecture of understanding

The human lust to feel so exceptional
To rule the Earth
Hunger for shiny rocks
For giant mushroom clouds
The will to do just as you'd be done by
Enter history, the grand finale

Enter Ratkind
Man, he took his time in the sun
Had a dream to understand
A single grain of sand

He gave birth to poetry

But one day'll cease to be
Greet the last light of the library
We were here!
We were here!
We were here!
We were here!
4.) The Understanding
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.
Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.
The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara.
Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton.
We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people.
In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?"
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one.
And that whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
5.) Sea-Worn Driftwood

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