Evolution

EVOLUTION

 

In random clash of chemicals

Hot flow over new rocks

There are no palisades or names

Tall fires burn

A thinning smoke is lingering;

In the anonymous wash

Something has happened.

 

Something begins to pulse, divide,

Feed, organise,

Ally.

 

Water is life: the oceans, the one body

Teem with a writhing dissonance of life

Creatures are born and die

In this world are no boundaries or strongholds

No sharp hard barriers but always danger

But here and there dead hardness meaning death

To anything washed up there: barren land.

 

In the half-dead, half-living place

Something survives and changes.

Life finds land.

 

Among the crumbling bones of the giants

That fire struck down in sea and marsh and forest

Under the dark and smothering, strangling sky

Small creatures scurry: one line is broken, but

Another rises for a while.

The giants’ cities hang with tumbling flowers.

 

In case it isn’t obvious: life begins, in apparently very unfavourable circumstances, in the sea. Later, it colonises the land. Who were the giants?

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. teenylove

     /  December 2, 2011

    In the beginning were the Titans also, albeit not yet dubbed that name.

    Reply
  2. Okay, Simon–I’m so Not good at test questions, but I love the line “the giants’ cities hang with tumbling flowers”. That is so lovely and lyrical!

    Reply
    • Well, the assumption might be that the giants were the dinosaurs, but dinosaurs didn’t have cities. Could they be humans? The poem isn’t meant to provide clear-cut answers.

      Reply

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