HomePoetryIn That Final Moment

In That Final Moment

Listen to a reading of “In That Final Moment”:

When the nukes start flying,
when we see the mushroom cloud growing on the horizon,
when reality comes crashing down in the most overt way possible,
when the realization slowly dawns that this really is the end,
none of our old stuff will matter anymore.

It will not matter if you are American, Russian or Chinese.
It will not matter if your skin is darker or lighter.
It will not matter if you feel like a man or a woman or both or neither.
It will not matter if your politics are left, right or center.
It will not matter who you voted for.
All that will matter, in that final moment,
is that it is ending.

We will behold that final moment
standing alongside progressives and conservatives,
racists and radlibs,
socialists and soldiers,
communists and cops,
and all our irreconcilable differences
will suddenly dissolve into nothing.

Against the suddenly visible backdrop of total annihilation,
the existence of any human anywhere is a miracle,
and the existence of life on this planet is a priceless gift.
We won’t even care whose fault it was,
whether it was deliberate or accidental,
or whether it was the result of some malfunction, miscommunication, or misunderstanding.
All we will care about is that it is ending.

And in that final moment we will hug our loved ones tight,
whether we are Christian or atheist,
Jew or Arab,
Indian or Pakistani,
anti-vaxxer or Antifa.

And in that final moment we will say,
in our heart of hearts,
with our innermost voices,
“Oh, I see it now!
I see how easy it is to stand together!
I see how small our differences are compared to this great commonality!
I see where we went wrong,
and how very easy it would be to fix it!”

And in that final moment we will say,
“We see it now!
We see the mistakes we made,
and made and made and kept on making!
We understand our fundamental error!
Just give us one do-over and we can correct it immediately!
Could we have a do-over please?
Could we have a do-over please?”

In that final moment,
we will ask,
“Could we have a do-over please?”

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Latest comments

  • https://www.google.com/search?q=lyrics–we+will+all+go+together+when+we+go

    … When you attend a funeral
    It is sad to think that sooner or later
    Those you love will do the same for you
    And you may have thought it tragic
    Not to mention other adjectives
    To think of all the weeping they will do
    But don’t you worry

    … No more ashes, no more sackcloth
    And an armband made of black cloth
    Will some day never more adorn a sleeve
    For if the bomb that drops on you
    Gets your friends and neighbors too
    There’ll be nobody left behind to grieve

    … And we will all go together when we go
    Oh, what a comforting fact that is to know
    Universal bereavement, an inspiring achievement
    Yes, we all will go together when we go

  • …..there is no reset……

  • …..indeed ….we ARE all consumers…redo, remake, revitalize, reinvent, on that telescreen of the spectacle between our ears, review, on the reality tv show, reassuring, reasserting, the reduced level of what we think is reality, reified, refined, without remorse, rediscovering the multitude of corpses reanimating the way we remembered the way …….
    forward?…….indeed…….we are
    reminded…….

  • Hey! Everyone GREAT News! Fred Hiatt is DEAD!!! WaPo’s neocon warpig is gone. You’re next Rubin!

  • Response with poetry for poetry: Dylan:
    And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it
    And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
    Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
    But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’
    And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
    It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
    https://seaclearly.com/2020/11/21/the-times-they-are-a-changin

  • But we can have a “do over”.
    We have the technology to live in low tech underground spaceships. Powered by the earths core they would be a seed bank for humanity, not anyone’s first choice, but a better option than extinction.

    Females only I think, the guys would just take all our old habits with us and we can easily be replaced by frozen sperm. It would be a vegan lifestyle, growing crops under LED lights. Perhaps after a 100 or 1,000 years they would no longer yearn for the surface and all that we have despoiled.

    It may fail, but we should at least give future generations the chance to learn from our magnificent if flawed, World Wide Experiment With Science.

  • It’s fortunate then that there’s no such thing as a state of death.
    It’s never been witnessed, experienced, written about, photographed, filmed or recorded.
    Therefore it has no existence.
    A dead body is not death.

    • I’ve seen death. It’s ugly and it smells really bad.

  • I love this Caitlin!

  • It is a pity that Americans love mushrooms to have … but that nuclear ones…

  • It is shear madness that even the “great powers” are allowed to keep nuclear weapons. Uncle Sam with his nuclear arsenal is less restrained than the local demented pyromaniac with a box of safety matches.
    ~
    Just firing off a dozen or so “nukes” around the planet will lethally contaminate most of the environment that is not immediately incinerated. So, why do we need enough of them to destroy all traces of life twenty or thirty times over? A quota of one hydrogen bomb per country should be more than enough to quell whatever latent sociopathic tendencies world leaders may secretly harbor.
    ~
    These truths are certainly as self-evident as all the BS about “freedom” and “blessings” in the preamble to America’s hallowed constitution and declaration of independence. Time to cut the crap and actually walk the walk as well as talk the talk. The talk alone is just cheap and meaningless, especially coming from Washington.

  • True “It will not matter if your skin is darker or lighter,”
    because any survivors will be,
    BLACK ………
    and CRISP!!!

  • Great article Caitlin. No do-overs in this game, but that’s the catch, isn’t it? I personally think catastrophic nuclear war is highly unlikely, but so long as nuclear weapons exist it is a nonzero probability. I understand the concepts of deterrence theory and mutually assured destruction, but I ask myself “Is this really the best we can do?” It seems insecurity between foreign state actors is a permanent state of existence in our world. We need to find a better way. We need to come up with a collaborative model for existence which takes interstate violent conflict off the table and peacefully mediates issues in accordance with the will of the people involved. A system in which violence itself is condemned and resisted on every scale and at every level. In a world where many egoic automatons only understand the language of violence and power, is it really possible?

    • Such a collaborative model, a nonviolent system, was concretely envisioned by an American novelist in the late 19th Century–comprehensively and compellingly envisioned–but we no longer read substantively nor care what was thought in the past. “Looking Backward” and “Equality” are free to read on the net for those not drowned in postmodern arrogance and futility.

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/19/on-earth-as-in-heaven-the-utopianism-of-edward-bellamy/

      • The irony of the first Cold War is that other than the two bombs dropped on Japan, no other bomb was dropped in anger since. I see no reason why this new cold war will be any different.

  • Nailed it again

  • I’ll likely be pissed at all the idiots perpetuating war and divisiveness and most of all profit.

  • This was really great, Caitlin. It really needed to be said, whether or not a nuclear conflagration is at hand. Reality can come crashing down in a few other powerful ways as well. I will send this out at Christmas.
    Thank you.

  • BIT BY BIT, THE NOOSE IS TIGHTENING AROUND THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS INDUSTRY
    Human beings are not necessarily destined to annihilate ourselves.
    https://theintercept.com/

    • According to the Hebrew prophets, that is our destiny: global nuclear war.
      See Jeremiah 25:32-33 for instance.

      • Yet those biblical prophets, like Jesus, also look to the coming of the Kingdom on earth. As always, when it comes to scripture, you can find what you want to find.

  • And who is to say,
    It hasn’t happened before.
    Total annihilation of the human,
    History re-repeating.
    The evidence of past nuclear wars,
    Is there for those with eyes to see.
    Fragments of memories remain,
    Told in myth and fables.

    • About 100,000 years ago there was an inter-glacial period similar to the one the human race has been living in in the present period. Modern man appeared on earth about 200,000 years ago, and it seems to only take about 10,000 years for human technology to progress from stone-age to nuclear-age. So it does seem possible that the Vedic legends are true: human civilization has previously progressed to nuclear technology and has subsequently bombed itself back to the stone age. The subsequent glaciation wiping out almost all traces.

      • Nope. Luckily for all us uranium investors ALL deposits were untouched. Why would anyone get into this? It’s simply an investment rule, that you buy when there is blood in the streets, and after Fukushima it was an easy home run in the long term and whatever anyone did, no-one was going to change the world..

    • We’ve never had nuclear war and there’s no history that indicates there’s ever been. In previous moments of histories throughout the history of humans we did have wars that ended everything for individuals and villages and even countries. All of that looks like and is fire and brimstone for all that is. It’s only different in scale, we’re aware of the whole planet and all the countries, and nuclear armageddon takes literally only the push of buttons, but when your whole world is your village on this side of the river and their village on that side of the river the accounts left behind of war are still of unfathomable evil and destruction.

    • Aye. Not necessarily “Total annihilation of the human,” but 3 million years of Humans is a long time for annihilate most with the rest starting all over again. and again ….

      Ironically Practicing with the weapons of the 4th world war, sticks and stones.

  • “INFLAMED”

    Rupa Marya & Raj Patel

    ALLEN LANE / PENGUIN BOOKS

  • I remember a few weeks ago China warned Australia, AKA the Warmonger US Lapdog, that should the war btwn the Warmonger US and China go hot Canberra will be the first target. Thanks a lot arse wipe.

  • You may have heard stories of several occasions in the past when our missiles were stopped from launching by “UFOs”. Are ETs really the “owners of this planet”? Or do they really just hate to see such a beautiful planet go to waste?

  • Later, there will be
    no reason to remember
    this, so remember it
    now: a safe day. Time
    passes into dim history.
    Eleanor Lerman

  • DearCaitlin,
    You are a very good writer and a wonderful human being. The “mushroom clouds” are not at all likely because the “owners of this planet” wouldn’t want that. Kill you? Yes. Kill me and other? Yes. But destroy their property? Definitely not! So unlike you and many of my fellow readers I am not worried.
    Very nice article though…

      • Right you are Caitlin. One’s the Nukes fly, it’ll be the end of Humanity as we know it.

        • That could be a good thing.
          We get another chance to:

          Pick yourself up.

      • Totally agree with you. During previous Cold War, people got at least partial Truth unlike now. Power and money make people insane. These insane people are making decisions keeping the population in dark through the control of most of Media. One has to work hard to find facts now as you and a few others are doing. I hope and pray that people will soon wake up and realize what’s really happening now and how close we are for total annihilation than ever before. “Clock” is closest to midnight than ever before.

        • It’s interesting to ponder when our slide into utter madness gained sufficient momentum to now seem unstoppable. On the one hand, some go back millennia and blame agriculture. On the other hand, some go back no further than the Reagan/Thatcher era. Then there are those who point to any number of pivotal points in-between. My own guess (along with Schweitzer, and others) is sometime in the mid-19th Century, when the ideals of Enlightenment Rationalism were crushed by materialist science, putting us adrift in a random universe in which we–and consciousness itself–were reduced to tragically emergent epiphenomena. The result was exactly as Jesus reportedly had predicted–our gods then becoming money and power; our goals, personal comfort and enjoyment. And here we are, with our gods having failed to meet our goals except in the obscene case of our elite overlords.

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