8B[2022]

8Billion

Demographics:
population distribution
global snowball to
8 billion on the Ides of
November, doubling
in the short wait of
48 years.

Remember,
the 1st billion
had a leadup of
2 million years
mostly lost in
prehistorical asides.

*[ WSB ].

Only the Lonely

SinatraClown

Darkness dances round the flickering torch,
sad clown under the lamppost, the hours small:
spotlight in a nightclub   | plays within plays |
large orchestra arranged intimately
for the complexity of sadness sublime.

*[ WSB ].

Shostakovich

Shostakovich

Twice denunciated:
regularly mailing a card to test the postal service—a reminder to write music for the masses;
measured, the response to just criticism.
Not an opium addict:
no belief in God, and very sorry about it—note the quoting of self.
A tsar falls from heaven hanging o’er the May Day march toward socialism
| steps out of Chaos |.
Metronomic, the tics
to the hammering tocks of clocks interlocking, sickles cycle in the fields of crystal harmony—
fist-pumps of the workers.

*[ WSB ].

Earthrise

Earthrise

Version: William Anders – NASA Apollo

No shell, just membrane
between the void and the mundane.
chaotic blue against blank vista,
all those stars, just wishes,
makes for an activist.
From vantage of a dead moon:
the pale blue dot—is all we’ve got.

*[ WSB ].

Macbeth

Macbeth

Sisters three
stir the pot,
the bloody plot.

| a pricking fate |

The wings of the
raven
blot out the sun:
the bloody deed is
done.

Macbeth
haunted by death
and shrinking
heaven;
banging on hell’s
gate.

q2l

Tis the eye of childhood / That fears a painted devil.

q2r

Lady Macbeth

*[ WSB ].

Tin Roof Rusted

tin roof rusted2

A record sun on a cornflake morning,
corrugated, the roof: a goat horning
could fly away but chooses to stay
and call the faithful to pray
| to kneel under rusted tin |
for runnels of rain to drain in the furrows
of fields running past horizons
on display, all that the ruminant surveys
with her television eyes recording.

*[ WSB ].

Antarctic Forest

AntarcticForest

Crop Version | Cover of Nature. V580, I7801. 2 April 2020: McKay, James

Fossils of cretaceous forest
found in Antarctic coastal core:
warrants artistic flair foremost
to model the data purest,
else evidence remains dormant;
roots in the core; pollen and spores.
In Antarctica before snow
rainforest moistened swamps below.

q2l

My hope is that the illustration will inspire people to find out more about our ancient climate and how it can teach us about the climate change we are going through today.

q2r

James McKay

*[ WSB ].