Luke Davis reflects on the impact of a man’s life and the role one person plays in the turning of the world .
Chaos and Man
The humble pencil, simple in its design.
With it, love letters by the valley full have been written,
Enough portraits have been drawn to fill an ocean,
Armies more numerous than ants have been given their orders.
But how do you tell the lowly graphite miner,
That nation’s rise and fall in time to the motion of their pick,
That countless inventions will never exist without their barrow being pushed,
Works of art used to inspire man to new heights,
Will never see the light without their constant toil.
A timepiece, such complexity and intricacy in a glass and metal shell,
Used to measure the distance between one moment and the next,
A ruler by which we all measure our lives,
An arrow whose flight show’s us cause and effect.
But how do you tell a watchmaker
Global trade could not exist if not for their work.
That cars, crops and society would fail without their knowledge.
That a million million hours have been dedicated to time,
Trying to understand the one thing which can not be altered.
How many parents have raised their children,
Wanting them to be rich, politicians or persons of power
To see their children take the world in their hands,
To bend it and shape it to their will.
In the end when the tide of time comes in, their work will be washed away.
They will be but a footnote in history written down by a pencil.
True power comes from the swarm of butterflies which is Man.
Each one flaps their wings, each one capable of starting tornadoes.
The majestic dance of the swarm outreaches even this power though.
7 billion butterflies flap their wings and cause the world to turn.
Down through future history we travel, each of us playing our part.
Are you strong enough to handle the responsibility?
The future of humanity rests on that last barrow
And whether it makes it to the refinery on time.
This poem was written in a time just after my separation where life for me had lost a lot of its meaning. I was in a job that didn’t seem to have a lot of point, I had lost custody of my friends, my family lived thousands of miles away, and I only had access to my children four days a fortnight. Sometimes, when you are in those dark places, you can see the glimmer of light in the distance and you grab hold of its dim reflection for dear life trying to seek some form of order out of the chaos. This poem was written primarily to remind me that everything I do is important and has meaning no matter how small or trivial it seems and over time the importance of my actions will be revealed.
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Photo: Flickr/Bruce Turner