They say for every person alive on Planet Earth at the moment, only thirteen have gone before. This ridiculously low number is explained by the explosion in world population over the last couple of centuries; from around 980 million in 1800 to well over 7 billion today.
And through our myriad antecedants, every one of us is still - and forever will be - a flower of the sea...
Oh, the cries that you hear are the signals of pain,
And the broken remains of a Cherokee plane
Lie shivering out in the cold mountain rain
And no one appears to be hearing.
The radio crackles with pure white noise
And the bears dance around the clearing:
Dancing around the Flowers of the Sea.
Such a dangerous scent is the perfume of hate
That infiltrates down through the chancery gate
And wafts through the window a moment too late
For anyone there to prevent it.
For such is politeness – frustrated and kind –
Even though it may resent it
When perfumed like the Flowers of the Sea.
U38 slipped through the blockade
With the one mistake that the cruiser made.
And the voice-tube crew was unafraid,
And so was Kapitän Liebig.
And then a depth charge carried his stern away –
“Auf Wiedersehen, Achtunddreißig!” –
For you were only Flowers of the Sea.
The Welsh medallion dangled and hung.
Its crimson dragon in the mid-day sun
Was sweating the way its mother had done
(And she had been a Merino!).
She came to rest upon a Guardsman’s chest
Underneath the trees so green-o –
Another tender Flower of the Sea.
All the light that comes from the spotlight’s beam
Is sometimes so diffuse it seems
To waste the time of the air it cleans –
If indeed it cares a beanpole!
Why cannot light be laser-bright?
And the moon is but a keyhole
Peering at the Flowers of the Sea.
All the wild mosaic in Pharaoh’s tomb
Kissed the economic boom
And placed a crown on he for whom
The broken stones were scattered.
For Pharaoh was a man who could
Admit to being flattered,
Commanding all the Flowers of the Sea.
John was a white and honest man –
At least, he was when this began –
But then Mahomet’s greatest fan
Turned him into a heathen.
His car became a mobile tomb
And now the odds are even.
And John has joined the Flowers of the Sea.
All the moths awoke and saw the sun,
And with a rush they rose as one,
But with no power to stop them come
The sun turned tail in terror.
But still some light is left to see
Up on the High Sierra
Where still are growing Flowers of the Sea.