coevolution: a chronical of decay & infinity

This poem was written to be a reminder to each of us of our connectedness to everything… to all life. It is also therefore a poem about death and decay — without death there is no life.

Our culture has become disconnected from nature, including our own bodies; we have become disconnected from the truth of our existence as ephemeral beings deeply part of nature; we have become death phobic and in doing so have attempted to separate ourselves from nature.

Humans throughout history have quested for eternal life, many knew it came in being part of nature – a place where your infinity is guaranteed; others search for some sort of quick fix potion to make them ‘immortal’, but what happens when we have eternal life in this realm?

If beings had ‘eternal life’ it would end coevolution, it would end diversity, it will prevent space for the becoming of new things, it will end nature’s capacity to be diverse, emergent creative and resilient… it will end coevolution…and it will end everything.

In the words of another of my poems:

no action we take
can prevent

yet …
our actions
can diminish
the possibility
of life
expressing her fullness

Within the knowledge and settling into an understanding of death and its place — its necessity — in nature, we also need to face the reality that we are each the eaten and the eaters (the predator and prey). All beings provide sustenance to all other beings – there is no other way…

Our power is in our connectedness, in the fact of our coevolution.

This poem is long, it is repetitive, it is rhythmic, it is intended to be an echo of nature’s rhythms.

I am everything
I coevolved
you are everything
you coevolved

all life is here
of everything

is not required

is needed
makes sense
needs to be

it all coevolved

I am spider
I am bird
you are snake
you are antelope

I am root
you are tree
I am frog
you are mosquito

we all coevolved

what makes you
makes me
what makes leaf
makes me
what makes a feather
makes you

what makes death
makes me
makes you
makes life

we coevolved

nature knows


we are each other
we become each other

nothing wasted

make grass

plant pulls energy
from the sun

cow eats grass
to feed
the microbes
in her gut

to feed
her own body

enriched residue
passes through

a dung beetle works
to pull the nutrients
into soil

to feed the microbes
who build the soil

to grow more grass
which grows
a seed head
which feeds a bird

all is reciprocity

everything is everything
everything needs everything

everything decays
everything dies
everything is eaten
to become
into something else

is its own ancestor

is your ancestor

what dies
makes life

what lives
with death

requires death

all is reciprocity

requires diversity

requires trust

it is creative
it is emergent

is complexity
on complexity
on complexity

how can we understand?
we can’t

just live being everything
hold being everything

live as if you are everything
because you are

acknowledge death
accept nature has worked it out

(she has been practicing for 3 billion years)

accept we cannot
understand everything

accept nature knows

accept you are part of nature

step aside
allow all that decays
to become again
to become you
to become me

step aside
we cannot control
we coevolved

we cannot know
all the secrets of nature
natures knows all

I am herbivore
that eats the grass
you are predator
that eats me

I eat you
you eat me

it is nature’s way

for 3 billion years
nature has spiralled life
into ever more
vibrant diversity

by allowing death
by inviting death

nature recycles everything

large or very small
eat life
it is nature’s way

large or very small
eat life
it is nature’s way

we eat life
our body eats life
a million microbes
within our skin
on our skin
die each day
to sustain our life

the death of microbe
the death of animal
the death of plant
ensure our life

ensures all life

it all becomes again

to feed you
to feed me
to feed everything
I am everything

the loop must loop
into death
and into life

wishing for eternal life
is wishing for an
eternal end

the loop must loop

land coevolved
with animal
land needs animal
to thrive
plant needs animal
to thrive

animal must die
eaten by you
eaten by predator
overtaken by disease
decayed by age
for life to loop

the loop must loop

all is reciprocity

we coevolved

tree must die
uprooted by wind
shattered by lightening
devoured by age
for life to loop

grass must give its life
to herbivore
for life to loop

nature requires complexity
nature requires diversity

to hold her vibrancy

to ensure resilience
nature requires complexity
nature requires diversity

to be emergent
to be creative

she tests out options
building diversity
growing resilience

nature requires diversity
to ensure her resilience

nature checks
nature balances
to hold the loop looping

so much we don’t know
so much we can’t know

step back

nature knows how
to repair herself
she always has

give her space

allow her pulse to pulse

has capacity
for infinity

we do not

without nature
we cannot
hold infinity

to being
of nature

allow her
capacity for infinity
to be your infinity

allow nature
to nurture

allowing everything
to become everything
to be infinity

we all coevolved

respect all life
all life is you

respect all death
all death is you

surrender into
to all

to all

nature is mystery

nature is brutal
she has to be
yet she is gentle

she is
and fecund
she has to be

nature is
she is simple

(her simplicity is life)
(her complexity is life)

she is chaos
she is order
she is deep

she is full
she is mysterious

she has to be

she holds the thread
of past life
becoming future life

I walk that thread
I coevolved

you walk that thread
you coevolved

as if you are everything
because you are

all life
is your life

all death
is your life

all life
is life

we all coevolved