Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis, Poet, Publisher and Tree Planter

Nero Theory

[An Alternative Theory of Human Evolution]

At long last, Nature sought to learn her span,
A question which no instinct might supply;
By hurt and trial she then selected Man
And stripped him of content: thus ‘how?’ and ‘why?’
Became his only mantra— while his brain,
Too gross to force the gates of natural birth,
Ballooned within an infancy of pain
And brought him that self-knowing Men call worth.
Shorn bald of fur, of claw, of size or speed,
This mutant calibrator measured time
And much besides — for having slaked his need
He dwelt upon his Mother’s ancient crime:
   Watch now this dragon’s get pour poisoned breath
   Upon her— and, unknowing, seek her death.

Dorsington, Warwickshire March 9, 2008

He will fail. Nature (defined as life on earth for our purpose) has survived all catastrophes for billions of years. Man’s astonishingly short rise to sentiency, much of which occurred in what we call the ‘Ice Age’ and which defies the laws of evolutionary time spans as we currently understand them, is both a neophyte and a puny weakling in comparison. The tripling in size of an infant child’s brain after birth is a unique phenomenon. (We are born with a brain just a little bigger than that of an infant gorilla.) In other words, it’s a fair guess that we are merely another experiment — and perhaps one that will not be repeated. We may wipe ourselves out with our ‘poisoned breath’ but the dragon will barely notice our passing — unless, by some effort of will, we succeed in creating methods to transport ourselves off this planet and create colonies elsewhere. Nero, of course, was a Roman Emperor who attempted again and again to murder his odious mother, Agrippina. Collapsing ceilings and especially constructed boats (built to sink) having failed, he finally had her clubbed to death. Or so the ancients claim.

Poem Published in the following books: Homeless In My Heart  

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