Stanley & me in a garden on planet Earth

Stanley lies flat out on the grass
slow, not fast
while the morning’s shadows softly creep
and bees move fatly
flower to flower matter-of-factly
applying themselves to the business of existence
as I sit next to Stanley admiring their persistence

we’re just back from our walk
and if dogs could talk
this one would say
hey! WHAT a day!
if I had my way
I’d stay
like this forever
or until it’s time for dinner
or treats, or whatever

and Stan – I humbly beg your pardon
for disturbing the tranquillity of the garden
but you know one day this’ll all be gone, right?
and people and dogs will have to move on quite
because they’ve made the planet so sickly
with the hydrocarbons they’ve way too thickly
sprayed about
and after crazy years of lazing about
they suddenly start gazing about
with telescopes
making plans and copious notes
giving televised lectures
to CEOs and policy directors
about building an interplanetary Ark
while the ocean’s blaze and the skies grow dark
and lotteries are held in city parks
to see who stays and who embarks

I don’t know if you know this, Stanley
but apparently
for what it’s worth
the nearest habitable planet to Earth
is Proxima Centauri b
which I have to say is news to me
not that I follow astronomy
that closely
because – honestly?
I get lost in all the knotty specifics
of time, ships and astrophysics)

Proxima Centauri b
is a planet orbiting pretty neatly
a dwarf star that heats it nice and sweetly
supporting conditions for life completely
bees, humans, dogs called Stanley

the thing is, though
it’s a long way to go
4 point 2 light years or so
and you’d no doubt say
if you could talk
a bit too far for a dog to walk

and even if you COULD take flight
and travel at the speed of light
(which Einstein says is OUT OF ZE QVESTION!
then sneezes and pulls a crazy expression)
it would still take a while
one light year being 6 trillion miles
so … roughly 4 years
after 4 MINUTES you’d be bored to tears

but you see
there’s no need
to get worked up about time and speed
because speaking philosophically
you, me
and the bees
we’re just the same as Proxima Centauri b
made of the same stuff, atomically
born from the one, primeval womb
that birthed all existence in the cosmic boom
so I wouldn’t worry if I were you
you’re such a good boy, Stan – have another chew

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