Following is a poem by Tom Atlee that I believe speaks to each and every one of us, particulary as our beautiful blue planet heats up, civil unrest reverberates in all four corners of the world, and a fourth of July approaches where it’s not the fireworks alone that causes the earth to tremble.
Extra Ordinary Days
On seven otherwise ordinary days
an Oregon graduate student discovered — without even meaning to –
that a newly engineered bacteria
might accidentally destroy all terrestrial plants
a controversial election ended
with the U.S. Supreme Court
making the loser President of the United States
a flock of geese came within seconds of triggering
global thermonuclear war
a dime-sized robot was created,
capable of prowling around buildings
in coordinated swarms
a dozen physicists debated whether to proceed with an experiment
that might turn the earth into a black hole
global trade in high-tech torture devices was found to be booming,
with a 7500% increase since the 1970s
in the number of companies making
electroshock stun weapons
and, oh yes,
a hundred species disappeared from earth forever,
along with 18,000 hungry children
(but we knew that already: that happens every day)…
Is it possible that
life is not ordinary any more,
despite all its appearances
Yesterday, I saw the death of life itself
stalking just around the corner
of that very ordinary day.
And today, just a few minutes ago,
I saw it watching us
as we dashed along the edge of the End Times,
looking straight ahead, moving fast,
desperate to accomplish so many urgent things.
It is time to look down –
at the earth, at the void, at our hearts.
Perhaps only a blast of vertigo will snap the trance,
call off The Fall,
save our souls and the world in one clear Seeing.
For we are too busy in a not-see death camp on the edge
of the beginning
of the world’s ending.
The prospect of Death, seen once, unmistakeably,
can do wonders for Life.
We need to see death now,
for the sake of the children
of this and every generation to come,
of this and every type of life.
When the fire starts in the kitchen downstairs
at 2 am,
we’ll only get one chance to wake up.
Please don’t think the alarm
is part of your dream.
For I have seen this, and it is a fact:
Business as usual is over –
despite everything that remains to be done.
It has been said that war is obsolete.
I say, in the same way,
that business as usual is over –
even though the sun also rises
and the bells toll.
It has been said that what is happening is inevitable.
Well, I say unto you:
Business as usual is over –
even though its presence continues insisting
like the ghost of an amputated arm.
And now I’ll whisper this last:
(For the sake of the children:
Let’s wake up
in the very next extraordinary day
that so much needs and wants us awake.)