Monday, May 5, 2014


for Jeremy Riflin

     Though “dog eat dog” was once the final word
     when Survival of the Fittest ruled the day
     and scientists to Darwin all deferred,
     we reckon now another, happier way.

     We find in primates signs of empathy,
     that selfishness is not the only rule
     by which the higher orders live—we see
     we can be kindly, though we’re often cruel.

     The way ahead in this most perilous time
     is to progress empathically and learn
     the arts and manners of a paradigm
     that guarantees we’ll neither freeze nor burn.

          For fire and ice lie in our forecast now,
          which only empathy can disallow.