The Point of No Return


The environmental engineers

wrench petrified tree-corpses from the earth

and form a community circle, each one thrashing the spine-ditched back of the engineer in front of him

while the engineer behind thrusts his own misery through tired arms, through charred whip-fingers, and lets it shriek silently upon the blushing, mushrooming flesh before him.

Meanwhile the politicians

split the bill for the last great brown bear, and over bear and wine

assign a rhyme and rhythm to midnight’s naughty list, casting chocolate bets

which senator or custodian will be exterminated first, a circus procedure

witnessed only

by the toxic light of the last stars.

It is the end

of the world,

scrawl sadly the researchers with their bare toes

in the sludge that coats the floor of the gas chamber

where wires spit extra minutes of life intravenously into their sinews, leaving

the taste of a metro clarinet in their mouths, devoid

of speech and soon to be of breath

while their hopeful sea star specimens glisten in festering jars, skeletons crêped with skin.

It is the end of the world.

We who slept in her cradle, whose giggles breathed the apple-crunching slaps of fish abounding her rivers, we who wrote for her the first poems

now have twisted our crib’s mobile into our mother’s noose,

now have kicked the screen door closed

leaving ourselves

on the outside and the dust-death on the inside

but we can’t live

alone in outer space;

we are not stars.

The end of the world is a devastating thing, which is why

the teachers and the police and the veterinarians cross

their hearts with timber bones, wailing for forgiveness at the deaf round face of a smog-hazed moon. They all will die soon.

But the last writers, impossible to blame for all of this

(for they were as useless as a golden frog

in figuring out the cure to sea star wasting syndrome; and can’t be held

responsible for the engineers’ failure to invent a fuel that wasn’t an anti-sun)

The last writers wait, observe from afar,

dry of the blood,

words unscathed by the air-fire that crackles their throats.

In the midst

of the decease of all those who could have made a difference,

the impractical writers, fate-forgotten, will scratch their chins with pens

and stay, useless

but for to document it all.


For a slightly more scientific point of view on the point of no return that earthlings recently passed, see

Image credits in order of appearance:

By, Public Domain,

By David Falconer, Photographer (NARA record: 1427627) (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


One thought on “The Point of No Return

  1. You read stuff that is way too slanted. People write these slants because that is how they get noticed and, if noticed, perhaps they will get fame or money. Anything purporting to be ‘science’ about global events is, on its face, hooey. No human being has that kind of knowledge. Also, even if human beings died out, nature would survive.


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