Earthquakes have no morals

The backside of life’s rich tapestry:


Earthquakes have no morals; hurricanes have no heart;
Lightning isn’t careful where it aims its fateful dart;
Volcanoes aren’t too choosy where they squirt their lava streams;
Radiation isn’t bothered if it messes up your genes;

Tsunamis, floods and avalanches don’t divert their action;
Meteors have no qualms about terrestrial impaction.
If all these things don’t get you, like as not bacteria will,
Or parasites, or viruses, or prions out to kill.

We want to say “How dreadful,” but these things are bound to be –
Not all is bright and beautiful in life’s rich tapestry.
The heat that churns the Earth and air supports all living things,
While water, in its quieter moods, grows cabbages and kings;

And lightning’s electricity and bright illumination
Might once have pushed a molecule towards self-replication.
But what about those microbes? Well, it seems, on close inspection,
That some live deep inside us and facilitate digestion.

So nature is both black and white: it’s nasty and it’s nice –
Choose a dodgy time or place and you’re a sacrifice!
We have a sense of danger, and must use it to survive:
Keep an eye on Mother Nature if you want to stay alive . . .

[Photo of Tangshan, China, 1976: Seattle TImes]
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