(October 30,1961 / Farrell, Pennsylvania)

Ark

They built each city and each dam,
perfected their technology
to master heaven, earth and sea,
in love with money, Marx, or Lamb?

Yet, all we’ve dug up and see now
are ruins, wrecks and skeletons,
black plastic garbage bags by tons,
a billboard with a smiling cow.

Their love, hate, honour and disgrace?
—abstractions to us who’ve come far
across time, galaxy and star.
We’re not piqued by the human race.

Their lives and actions mean as much
as those of cockroaches, snails and ants.
How ugly they are without pants.
We’ve come here not to preach or touch.

The humble, pious and the meek
still clinging in their graves to faiths
are real to us as ghosts or wraiths
that lived a century or a week.

Yes, we have closed the book on that,
the denizen of house and mall,
and saved the worthiest of all,
each species and each breed of cat.

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