“Up & Down Or Cutting Across Chess Boards Which Aren’t Best Metaphors, Hear Songs Of Our Earth While You Can” and “End As Beginning As…?”

In Issue 36 by Gerard Sarnat

“Up & Down 
Or  Cutting 
Across Chess 
Boards Which Aren’t Best Metaphors, Hear Songs Of Our Earth While You Can” and “End As Beginning As…?”

Up & Down
Or Cutting
Across Chess
Boards Which Aren’t Best Metaphors, Hear Songs Of Our Earth While You Can.

Just as Technology

has shifted from

being a vertical —

organizationally

in a stack above or

below other usual

equal silos such as

HR, Finance, Ops,

Sales & Marketing

all reporting up

most likely to big

picture CEOs —

to worming into a more powerful horizontal fundamental throughout entire enterprises,

so has Climate

Change moved

out of its recent

confined box

now to clearly

affect almost

anything that we

have named as

highest priorities*

ranging from

Jobs/ Economy,

to Health Care,

to Education

to Terrorism, SSI, Inequality, Immigration so has become a second controlling horizontal.

Food-system

collapse, sea

level rise, sick

our good Earth

ruined, we few

drop in on Mars

then a couple of

Jovian moons

before set out

to roam stellar

prairies trapped in

dead-end tin cans:

Flailing memory, once stars of our past now at half-glimmer soon fade to total darkness.

*State of the Union 2019: How Americans see major national issues
Pew Research Center

End As Beginning As...?

99.9999% lifeforms

died today*.

75% known species

went extinct.

If you looked up

a “star’”s

luminosity grew

very large.

The previous lush

warm planet

just teeming with

organisms —

an asteroid plunged

Earth from

Cretaceous Period

into dark

deep freeze Palogene.

It was as if

we took a billion

Hiroshima

bombs’ lone bullet:

peaks rose

much higher than

Mt. Everest.

Temperatures

higher

than our sun’s.

Wildfires

consumed 70%

of forests,

set subcontinent

India ablaze.

Oceans emptied.

Ash covered

all – only ferns

thrived.

But vagabond

debris sown

into space had

microbes

which make it

promising

2 Jupiter moons

contain life.

And 66 million

years pass

bark beetle bits,

paddlefish

conifers blossom

as dinosaurs

give way to

previously trivial

mammals which’s

what allowed

us a short time to

thrive ‘til now?

*thanks to Douglas
Preston’s The Day
the Dinosaurs Died
, New
Yorker
, 8 April 2019

About the Author

Gerard Sarnat

Website

Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending 2022 Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, Washington Square/NYU Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Hamilton-Stone Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, North Dakota, McMaster, Maine, University of British Columbia and University of Chicago presses. He is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with progeny consisting of four collections (Homeless Chronicles: from Abraham to Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, Melting the Ice King) plus three kids/ six grandsons — and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters.