Poem about progress? Know It All

September 13, 2023

Collage by Exposure using evolution image by OpenClipart-Vectors and globe image by Gerd Altmann, both from Pixabay

Jamin L. Symonds Patel questions how far humanity has really come

We know it all.
Do we not?
To ride at the front
of the running rails of time’s story,
surely is to stand on top of history.
Is it not?

Here we are, splitting apart
and sticking together the atom.
The people who were once imprisoned
by the cold darkness of the night,
are now broken free of those mighty bars and bolts.
Who are they before us to say how we should be?

They knew not what is to us as clear as day.
The nature of light, matter, space, and time,
all are things we can point on paper,
showing their like, mould, scope, and type,
that we may as well be their maker.
Who are they to tell us a thing,
when this knowledge they never had
gives us so much power?

We hold all this progress at hand,
when all before so much war ripped the land.
Who are they that butchered, slaughtered, and enslaved,
to say to us what is right and wrong,
what should and should not be done?

The arrogance, to say that they knew,
when we know now that they knew not.
But we know now that we know it all.

But then who the hell are we?
Surely we must remember
that we broke the atom,
cut the body,
and mixed all matter,
precisely because we knew,
we are not their maker.

Do we really know it all?
We must see that for all our grandeur,
we fail to endure in holding up simple sense.
We can break the atom whereas they back then
couldn’t even cut a stone, sure.
But they built nations,
while we’re unsure
what our nations are even for.

Does our modern medicine even help us,
when we begin to wonder what purpose our lives hold,
and not just how our bodies are built?
So then truly can we say nothing to our past
when we are faced with life’s same core.

How dare we waste our breath,
to dictate how great our breadth
of knowledge is to those already dead.
Not least when really we cannot say,
that we would’ve done any better than they.

It seems then there is no line in the sand
to split us from them.
For whatever was for them, is the same for us.
Either we know it all with them,
or with them know nothing at all.
But of course, our past has so many flaws,
that we can barely claim therefore
to know much at all.

We must remember that though much may seem to be evolved,
far more is left unmoved, without any promise of motion.
If we ever dream of looking forwards,
we must begin to look backwards and say:

I cannot stand above you,
nor you above me.
But because you have already met
the deep sleep of death I am yet to meet,
let me first turn my head the other way,
so that you can whisper into my ear
what it is you wish to say.

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