There was no love,
no race of Gods,
no music of any kind, faint or ephemeral.
riding on an asteroid
collided with a petri dish of cosmic drizzle–
a flask of gurgling gases–
on earth, life stirred.
Time wound its clocks, marked its calendars.
Beetles and seed spores
filled the floor of forests,
killer whales and fiddler crabs occupied the seas.
In far pastures ibex and catamount,
chrysanthemum, mossy marigolds,
the skies flecked with falcons and whippoorwills.
Then reasoning creatures–
bushmen striding out of Africa–
gathered at the rivers of the earth, its valleys, plains.
Nightfire tales were told,
paintings on cave walls and vases,
fear and wonder, singing their incomprehension.
Predators, disease, ghastly wars,
there was compassion, hunger,
mothers bringing babies to their bare breasts.
There was joy, brilliance,
increasing mastery of earth.
And under a single bulb in many dim rooms– longing