The Blacktop Jungle

Mulefa from The Amber Spyglass by JamesMargarum

The Blacktop Jungle

Evolution has no use for wheels –
Nature walks, it never rolls
Beyond a spider or tumbleweed
That the random wind controls.
For real life lacks our perfect strips
Of smooth and tarmacked roads,
These alien technologies,
These edges linking nodes.
Biology’s against it anyway,
Unless the wheels are dead –
For how can blood and nerves attach
To grow the spokes, repair the tread ?

Though germs can grow their flagellates
Upon an axle, loosely bound –
And they can drive by swimming,
Just by spinning tendrils round and round.
So give a million years or ten,
And life may well adapt
To these ribbons of oil and gravel,
If they haven’t been buried or snapped.
But while terrain is bumpy
And a bogged-down caster cannot trot,
Then legs will always run the show –
The world may turn, but life does not.

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