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poetry

Civilization

Everything started out slow

We didn’t have places to go

We had to know everyone in the village

Before invaders started to pillage

Our treasures and delights

Speed up the world and its light

The sun sets faster when you’re running from time

Because it always runs better

As we crawl out of the slime

Civilization begins to start

Everyone walks around with metal in their heart

We start to create words meant to part conversations

Small talk

Takes a walk

Into a town that started small

But now grows tall

With walls to keep out invaders

Later, we begin to hate our fate

Envious of those in a population so ginormous

We try to take on new forms

This is what we call societal norms

And it shapes our new state

We debate topics

That skirt the edge of new propriety

We climbed high in society

But conversation burned

We learned about technology

That rocked our world

Information in seconds

With ones and zeros that unfurled into lives

DNA becomes simple and our race strives

For bigger

Better

Faster

Rules down to the letter

Who has time to read the full news?

We just choose who needs to lose

And win

Politics become a joke

Our government goes up in smoke

And we stay glued to our screens

Their bright sheen pierces our eyes

And when we look up through the lies

We fantasize the world we were just in

When ones and zeros become slim and slimmer

Our minds become dim and dimmer

As we take a trimmer to our thoughts

Now tell me how conversation’s gone

I’ll try to tell you that it’s wrong

But that’s an opinion, never a fact

The fact is, we’re just on a different tract

Yet if I hear another phrase repeat

If I see another bleed before yell defeat

Or another cheat while the honest pays

My hours stretch into days

With all these pleasantries

Questioning frees the mind

But not the kind we hide behind

How’s your children?

How’s your wife?

Did you get a new cat?

How’s your life?

What happened to you five minutes ago?

Tell me the news I already know

Tell me about your hobbies that pass the time

I’ll tell you about my possessions proud to be mine

If I hear another word that sits flat

I’ll ask, “who wants to know that?”

I want to know why you wake up in the morning

What rain tastes like on your tongue

What songs make you dance

Or cry when they’re sung

What a child’s smile does to your face

How did you get your grace?

What is your favorite place to escape to

If you have any vices, if so, how few?

Please

I can’t take another conversation that dulls my mind

I don’t want to feel behind

But ahead

Don’t make me dread listening to you

But I don’t know what to do

Tell me there’s another one too

Who feels like me

And wants to be free

From the mind-numbing placidity of normal life

I’ll take it in strife now

But expect me to snap soon

***

This a longer poem, because it encompasses the very beginning to the present of humanity and its interactions with each other. I enjoyed writing this piece, because it allowed me to reflect on the conversation I have with people closest to me. A recent frustration of mine involved observing how shallow most conversations seem. I start to abhor how people repeat themselves and each other, or how small talk can stretch for hours. There is a direct correlation with how fast our world moves and the depth of our social interactions, because I believe if we were to take all the schedules and electronics and deadlines away, we would be left with nothing but time to discuss and think.