Death of Mother Earth

James Knight

A prophetic and apoplectic poem

Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

Life in a nutshell

We’re born

We suffer

We die

Heartache, grief, loneliness

Love always just out of reach

Justice eludes us

Meaning is an illusion

Life is the exception

Not the norm

Death is the natural state

And it is on the way

Coming to reassert itself


Does intelligent life exist

Anywhere except on earth?

Does it exist on earth?

Unintelligent lives on earth

Are killing our Mother

Our planet is dying

The second law of thermodynamics

Entropy will win

Human extinction is inevitable

The stars will go cold

Bleak darkness our final destiny

All of our advances

Our technology

Our hopes

Our dreams

Will be nothing

Only evanescent memories

Disappearing into a vast, dead expanse

All is for naught


We are but tiny specks

On a tiny speck that is earth

In a vast, lifeless universe

If there is no god, as I believe

Then there is no heaven

No hope

Only futility

So live for today

Eat, drink and screw merry

Because really

What’s the alternative?


Try to make it through another news cycle

Without screaming

Use denial

Lie to yourself

Say that your life has an ultimate purpose

Some degree of lasting significance

Bury yourself in busyness

Distract yourself with pleasure

Delude yourself with naïve optimism

Because the alternative is unthinkable

Hoping against hope

That’s the most necessary sedative

Religion is not the opiate of the masses

Distraction and denial are



Unless there really is something more

Unless eternity is a reality

Unless the physical universe we see

Is only a shadow

Of another deeper entelechy breathing out love

And that love is all around us

Unless that

Then nothing

Then we are fucked!


Author’s note: Entelechy, in philosophy, that which realizes or makes actual what is otherwise merely potential. The concept is intimately connected with Aristotle’s distinction between matter and form, or the potential and the actual. He analyzed each thing into the stuff or elements of which it is composed and the form which makes it what it is. The mere stuff or matter is not yet the real thing; it needs a certain form or essence or function to complete it. Matter and form, however, are never separated; they can only be distinguished. Thus, in the case of a living organism, for example, the sheer matter of the organism can be distinguished from a certain form or function or inner activity, without which it would not be a living organism at all; and this “soul” or “vital function” is what Aristotle in his De anima (On the Soul ) called the entelechy (or first entelechy) of the living organism. Similarly, rational activity is what makes a man to be a man and distinguishes him from a brute animal.

James Knight

Written by

Old unreformed unf**kwithable professor with a rock & roll soul, still crazy after all these years and still running against the wind.

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