Lonnie Hicks

(www.lonniehicks.com / Chicago Ill)

A Homo Sapien


We are the Smart Apes
who rose from the African Plains
who learned to eat meat
and grow large brains;

I see Cro-Magnon man
and Neanderthal man;
living in the Caves
fashioning spear tips;

I, Cro-Magnon Man
came from the Middle East
to Europe
to find there Neanderthal,
short,
stocky
slow.

I could see
he had no knowledge of serrated
spear tips:

was no match
for my nimble technologies.
and the warming climes.

I inter-married and /or dispersed him
until today I am all that is left.

I brought new fire to Neanderthal;
in it simmers his remains.

I see other animals
learning fear
as the Ape spread
from Africa
to Java, to Asia
and Europe;

There were halting migrations
twice made
driven by climate change;

the whole human race
dwindled down to 14 thousand souls;
a tiny gene pool;
the ancestors of our entire progeny.

We are all mutants then
from a gene pool too small;
we are all genetic experiments;
incomplete,
plagued by paradox;
killers but builders too;
peace lovers but war-makers too;
creators
and destroyers;
an animal with
a bad genetic start.

I see the development of the opposable thumb;
tooling making;
art, technology, the family
war and genocide;
religiosity
and non-religiosity
all in the mix.

There was tyranny,
democracy,
fascism, capitalism
socialism, communism
all from the same brain.

Here comes History,
generational knowledge;
books;
computers.

We Apes touch other worlds.
Send our voices into space
grasp the nature of the universe
invented the concept of Love
threaten the planet with permanent
change,
pollute our own nest
invent science,
enslave millions,
and pave under the trees.

We are Homo Sapiens
self-named 'Wise Men.'

And we live in this Irony.

Submitted: Sunday, October 26, 2008
Edited: Sunday, January 24, 2010

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  • Bri Edwards (11/27/2013 5:52:00 PM)

    tooling making; ....oops!

    invented the concept of Love.... did we? i know this is a poem and poems are not bound by any rule of poetry to be factually accurate. so i will allow this! (and a few other things you wrote in the poem) . ha ha

    self-named 'Wise Men.' ..... i checked this statement online to verify it, and it seems you are correct. i did not KNOW that about home sapiens or i forgot i knew it. i think Man invented senility also.
    thanks for sharing. :) (Report) Reply

  • Patti Masterman (3/3/2009 7:00:00 PM)

    This is a gem. I love homo sapiens poems. And this one is a real masterpiece. Congratulations on this. (Report) Reply

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