“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…?”

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 —


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.


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


bombs’ lone bullet:

peaks rose

much higher than

Mt. Everest.



than our sun’s.


consumed 70%

of forests,

set subcontinent

India ablaze.

Oceans emptied.

Ash covered

all – only ferns


But vagabond

debris sown

into space had


which make it


2 Jupiter moons

contain life.

And 66 million

years pass

bark beetle bits,


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
, 8 April 2019

About the Author

Gerard Sarnat


Gerard Sarnat is a physician who’s built and staffed homeless and prison clinics as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. He won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is published in academic-related journals including Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Virginia Commonwealth, Arkansas, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, Slippery Rock, Appalachian State, Grinnell, American Jewish University and the University of Edinburgh. Gerry’s writing has also appeared widely including recently in such U.S. outlets as Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, American Journal Of Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry Circle, Clementine, New Verse News, Blue Mountain Review, Danse Macabre, Canary Eco, Fiction Southeast, Military Experience and the Arts, Poets And War, Cliterature, Qommunicate, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review and The New York Times. Pieces have also been accepted by Chinese, Bangladeshi, Hong Kongese, Singaporian, Canadian, English, Irish, Scotch, Australian, New Zealander, Australasian Writers Association, French, German, Indian, Israeli, Romanian, Swedish and Fijian among other international publications. Mount Analogue selected KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY for pamphlet distribution nationwide on Inauguration Day 2017. Amber Of Memory was chosen for the 50th Harvard reunion Dylan symposium. He’s also authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry’s been married since 1969 with three kids, five grandsons and looking forward to future granddaughters.