Charles Macfarlane

We are cavemen, the superstitious
Who, as English foxes imported for hunting by settlers
Now threaten Australia's unique fauna with extinction,
So we forget the lessons of the dodo and the passenger pigeon, and extinguish the flora and fauna of the world.

We are cavemen, the superstitious
Who, like the luckless turtle returning to lay her eggs on the beach of her birth,
Only to make landfall amid the night-time revellers of our newly-built resort,
Follow blindly habits of thought and deed formed in our early lives, no matter how ill they serve us.

We are cavemen, the superstitious,
Who, like the albatross, anciently evolved to feed its chick on scraps of food found floating on the ocean,
Now feeds it toothbrushes, lighters, pens, and all the other plastic detritus of human thoughtlessness,
Ourselves consume soundbites and slogans floating on the cesspit of media hysteria, without feeding our minds.

We are cavemen, the superstitious,
Who charge like a bull, goaded by picadors, into argument, taking sides on Pavlovian emotions,
Seeking to rationalise ourselves only when challenged, by which time our beliefs, bad or good, are already formed;
Who'd rather win worthless debating points than the greater prize of seeing and solving the deeper problem.

We are cavemen, the superstitious,
Who like a butterfly settling on fly-paper, live and die by appearances rather than reality,
Who'd rather clutter our homes with Feng Shui and bric-a-brac, our landscapes with follies, than live in practical spaces,
Who are duped by the pseudo-science of cosmetic adverts, while decrying the real science of Climate Change.

We are cavemen, the superstitious,
Who, while organising our lives using all the technology that science made possible,
Like oiled birds, flounder in a toxic slick of absurd myths from an unenlightened, unscientific past,
Because those myths pander to our self importance, while science tells us how uncomfortably unimportant we really are.

We are cavemen, the superstitious,
Who, as blue-tits attack their reflections in our windows, we fight neighbours because, blind to the souls inside the glass,
We see only our own reflected stereotypes  age, religion, sex, politics, skin, or tribe  that distinguish 'them' from 'us';
And 'they' fight with 'us' for the same reasons, thus proving that we're really all alike.

We are cavemen, the superstitious,
The soul-dead who, as a blinded quail sings ensnaring others, preach of a fairy tale paradise in a make-believe hereafter,
Mistaking ultimate selfishness for ultimate sacrifice by slaughtering real, innocent lives in the here and now,
Unwilling to accept that all that really survives our death is the Darwinian payload of our genes in our descendants.

We are cavemen, the superstitious,
Precisely because those genes have come down to us so virtually unchanged, that, stripped of our technology,
We are just a vagrant's bundle of emotional thought from our most distant ancestors that first left the trees for the caves;
That is why, until our blind selfishness finally achieves our own extinction, we are condemned to be …

Cavemen, the superstitious.


Creative Commons Licence Copyright of this work is held by Charles Macfarlane, who licenses it under a Creative Commons Licence (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales)