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Thread: On Recycling: The Parable of the Transformed Dinosaurs

  1. #1
    Registered User illiterati's Avatar
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    On Recycling: The Parable of the Transformed Dinosaurs

    from La La Land, a verse novel by Damascus Dancing
    forthcoming from New Human Press, when I get around to it

    I liken the kingdom of heaven to a series of dinosaurs on the side of the highway.

    A group of archaeologists looking for ways to make archaeology 'relevant' successfully applied for large university grants to transform some of the dinosaurs into badly animated mechanical dinosaurs for an expensive, but ultimately irrelevant, walkthrough exhibit at the zoo.

    Some of the other dinosaurs by the side of the highway were transformed into plastic milk jugs and recycled into flimsy plastic bags at Kroger's.

    Some of the other dinosaurs fell into a tar pit.

    And some of the dinosaurs were transformed into special, limited edition poems and sold for twenty dollars in your heart.

    When Damascus Dancing had finished speaking, his disciples took him aside, and asked him to explain the parable of the transformed dinosaurs.

    O, you foolish disciples! How long have I been with you, and yet you have need of me to explain the parable of transformed dinosaurs.

    Not always will I be with you, but still--come, and I will explain for you the parable of the transformed dinosaurs.

    The dinosaurs transformed into a cheesy animatronics exhibit at the zoo by overzealous archaeologists with too much government money who don't know how to make archaeology relevant are those whose poems have been transformed into items on their c.v.

    Their dinosaurs started off as real live dinosaurs on the side of the highway, but soon their desire for government money and archaeological 'relevance' choked the real live dinosaurs and turned them into robots.

    The dinosaurs transformed into plastic jugs and recycled into flimsy plastic Kroger's bags are those whose poems have been used up.

    They loved their real live dinosaurs, but soon they got too broke and had to sell their expensive live dinosaurs for money.

    Weep, weep for the sellers of dinosaurs, those who recycle their poems for a grocery bag.

    The dinosaurs who fell into a tar pit are those whose poems were actual physical ancient dinosaurs at one point in the past.

    Their dinosaurs fell into a tar pit with all the other dinosaurs and went extinct from suffocation.

    And also volcanic meteors.

    And the dinosaurs transformed into special, limited edition poems and sold for twenty dollars are those whose poems are alive in their hearts.

    Their dinosaurs started off as real live dinosaurs and went extinct from volcanic meteors, and then later in a major motion picture called Jurassic Park their DNA was extracted from mosquitoes caught in amber and recombined with the DNA of frogs and other amphibians and birds and resurrected by a quixotic billionaire who likes dinosaurs.

    You are the transformed dinosaurs--the dinosaurs transformed to robots and bags and stuck in tar and the dinosaurs still alive in your heart.

    Wherever a dinosaur lives, there my poem is alive.

    Except a dinosaur falls into a tar pit and dies, its DNA cannot be extracted from petrified mosquitoes by quixotic billionaire dinosaur enthusiasts.

    All flesh is a dinosaur. A volcanic meteor falls and covers the sun in volcanic ash and makes all the plants die, and the dinosaurs die, too, except for certain deep aquatic species of scary snaggletooth water dinosaur which swims around way under the sea until the ash is gone, and sometimes bites your feet.

    But except for those dinosaurs, all dinosaurs are grass--clothed in dinosaur glory, withered in the space of a day.

    Does the grass outlast its cloth of ashes, or a dinosaur, its tar pit?

    Indeed, I say to you: both dinosaur and tar pit, the grass and its cloth of ashes--even the quixotic billionaire and scary deep sea dinosaurs--all is an ash, all is a passing moment, soon petrified, soon broken; the transformed and recycled, the professionalized and cashless, sellers of dinosaurs and buyers of dinosaurs; old women, little children, young mothers and fathers gone too soon, life recycled into flimsy bags.

    The child fetched me a grocery bag. What is the grocery bag? he asked. What answer could I give?

    Should I speak of the hints of the dead old mothers, the children and fathers gone too soon? Should I say the bag is a dinosaur, the extracted reclaimed polymer of transformed brontosaurus?

    This bag is very flimsy to come from the brontosaurus' thick neck, thin to derive from the scary aquatic dinosaur, substanceless to fare from its snaggled teeth.

    Or then again, this bag is colorless and wan to come from the dark full hair of mothers, wrinkled to consist in a child's smooth hands.

    Perhaps the bag is a tar pit, the recycled post-manufactured remainder of past dinosaurs, a plasticity of death, the transformation of their transforming, given over again to groceries.

    The women and men and sons and daughters, the gray old mothers and fathers; overzealous architects, ancient dinosaurs and cheesy robots, weird shemale genetically engineered toad velociraptors accidentally switching genders to breed more velociraptors and eviscerate quixotic billionaires;

    Bag and ashes, tar pit and bones, all flesh, the grass, all clothed in the glory of a day; soon arriving, soon fading; the cycle of day and night, the turning leaves, the passing seasons;

    Root & ozone, surrounding void & sun, prickling stars & Milky Ways, vast circuits of matter in fractal arrangements, the splash of light, the nothingness--the black matter and antimatter and quotidian void of vacuum--even death will die, in time come after dinosaurs.

    You say that I have been gone from you for a decade, and soon will leave you again.

    I say to you, what do ten years measure?

    Does a brontosaurus change in a day?

    No--a brontosaurus lives a long time.

    Not many brontosauruses, not many plastic bags; not many shemale velociraptors, not many petrified tar pits; very few turns of seasons, not many prickling stars, not a single Milky Way can be measured by a decade.

    (But perhaps a child gone too soon, perhaps a young mother or father)

    And yet how many blades of grass, whole armies of numberless glory?

    Ten years is many lifetimes, when in the space of a day, I die ten times.

    I have been as the dinosaur, and I have been as the grass.

    I pulled my glory around me, I shot up in the dust of the field.

    Light crowned me, a king among kings, priest to a nation of priestly stalks.

    All the air & the rain & the thick black soil, the bones of brontosauruses, the mulchy decay of faded mothers; the sun itself, the twisting earth skittering on its axis of seasons--all the handiwork of the lord, his own strong invisible fingers, attended me in my glory.

    & in the space of a day, my glory left, the lord blew over the fields, the armies faded, my own blue crown gone brown.

    Drooping, embrittled & weary, low--the earth shut its face, and served my fading.

    Here and gone, fodder for dinosaurs, the transformed handful of old mother's hair.

    & even the fading was not unlovely;

    & too I have been as the dinosaur, a creature of stolid aeons.

    How many decades passed while I watched?

    Not many, too many--

    Dinosaurs becoming grasses, transformed grasses becoming a dinosaur;

    Countless thousands of dyings & livings, whole armies of fading away, unchanging;

    The blade of grass bears witness: the decades & centuries shoot up & decay; an aeon is an inconstant thing, brontosauruses yield to the lily's glory;

    The millennia are a wine of dandelions, distilled from petrified splendor; thousands of gone decades;

    Whole tender dinosaurs lost to time. Flesh is grass, the grass is flesh, and I have died too many times: I am no more, I never was.

    (And for a dinosaur not to have existed is different than any had supposed, and way luckier.)

    (c) 2014 lee sharks, property of planet mars

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Although I disagree with the last phrase in the last line that it would be luckier if the dinosaur had not existed, I liked the thoughts about dinosaurs spoken as if pronouncements from some guru or prophet meandering through all the dinosaurs' transformations.

    I liked this verse: "I have been as the dinosaur, and I have been as the grass." That sounds like something a guru would say, and there might be some truth in it if I understood it better.

  3. #3
    Registered User illiterati's Avatar
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    Just, you know: stolid and unchanging (like a brontosaurus), and simultaneously fleeting and ephemeral (like a blade of grass)

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