their nests are heavy and close to the ground, closed up and heavy! how can they lift them at all? a solid mass of earthenry, and hardly any air in it. no doubt they like it that way, and yet in such surroundings how can they feel it at all? nothing of breeze in there, nor water. nothing in or out unless themselves or in boxes, partitioned away. a steady line all day long, a procession of boxes, in and out, in and out.
similarly they shut themselves away for days, rooms inside rooms, further and further from the open air. and masses of material draped all around, lumps and boxes, things to sit on and inside and full of papers and further boxes and more and more! things underneath, things on top, things hanging and draping and lining the walls and more things inside them. shut out the light and bring in your own, in a box! shut out the air, and bring it in, and spray it with artificial flower scent! shut out the water and box it in metered and paid for. and your food, boxed and boxed and hardly real at all, dried up powder that was growing on a stalk years ago and now mixed with artificial color and whatnot and formed into shapes in a bag in a box, and paid for.
and what then? inside this artificial world they sit in ones and twos and dozens and do things, with papers sometimes, or even boxes. or moving the dirt out or moving something in, no doubt in a box. dirt is all right outside the door, unless paved over with crazy concrete and gnomes, but not inside! not one speck of it! unless it be in a pot with one small plant inhabiting it, and then well contained by saucers and windowsills, and water from a jug. alternately plants made of plastic may be found for those not wanting any dirt at all, or the bother of watering them.
similarly on their walls appear pictures, many per side, sometimes of dirt and flowers and even trees. or water, or mountains. or boxes of papers where they may learn of others climbing mountains or walking on dirt, or not. and similarly flowers on their clothing, not with bothersome roots attached, but all on their own and requiring no watering! and no dirt must touch these, whether flower-printed or not.
hours a day they spend on it, this hatred of dirt (unless outside the door and with careful plantings of grass on it, or stones in patterns), washing and washing, water by the ton and many a soap in it. and then on the morrow, all again! every piece of food must be washed and the box it comes in, and every glass that once held water, for their hands (also washed) have touched it and that is enough!
but the animals of the world don't fear it, aren't harmed by it, eat their grasses and fruits with the dirt still on them, they do! one wonders how they manage it. and their fur or feathers may have real dirt or real water on them, and yet they live. and their nests are outside and air coming through. we wish we could visit them, but instead must venture into these boxes in boxes where the people live and attempt to speak to them, carefully wiping our feet at their doors and taking a seat on their boxes.
and having spoken, must we admire the box on the wall where other people appear inside other boxes, looking even brighter and more flowery than our hosts? stylized conversation ensues, about many a safe and limited subject, or questions about our world, where no doubt it is like this but even more so, boxes miles high and with everything inside them, techno-power and artifice that knows no bounds! perhaps we never leave them at all, not even to the dirt outside the back door, with its sad planting of grass and preferred greenery. we have artifice in three dimensions, entertainment all day long, as far from nature as possible, and information at our fingertips or pumped into our heads, though who knows what we use it for? more power! more entertainment! that must be it!
but if we told them the truth they would think us insane, or at best incomprehensible. live outside when you could be in, in a box like this, with every comfort at hand? eat food that requires tending and patience, not available all year round in every flavor or suitably frozen and boxed. and clothing not washed every day and with no pictures of flowers or other people or inspiring slogans on it? and even entertainment we make ourselves, or no entertainment! or no information, as not much needed. this would make no sense to them, and sadly we see it must be so; they climb the techno-ladder and see themselves as very far from the top, though we see them already too high on it and due for a fall. for they will not climb down, no not even one step! and the water dries up and is full of chemicals and the air full of them too and the millions of them starving for any food at all, never mind boxed and specially flavored. can they turn it around? some of them try, but the majority won't listen, or barely hear, and the ones who make the rules won't let go of anything, no not even to save their planet, or grandchildren.
we don't know what to do with animals that won't be animals, that deny their nature at either end, that turn themselves into machines and like it! and deny all other species in their quest for self-glorification, alternately machinehood. and write poems to themselves to commemorate it.