All Puppetry

Did you ever wonder why

               we are like we are

big rubber test tubes

DNA laden




Our buttons are pushed

we respond with prepackaged behaviour

Our strings are pulled

we dance the imposed steps

Our chains are yanked

we snarl and growl the predetermined sounds

We’re red when we’re hot 


We’re blue when we’re cold 


Our past precedes our present without fail

Our future succeeds our present with surety

Our lives unfold without effort

Our days come and go without form

The blank slate indeed is written upon

                but are all the marks so much automatic writing?

Are we simply marionettes tied to the manipulations of environment?

As the offspring of a nurturing Nature

Is there anything at all for us to do?



The piece was inspired by my ongoing question of how is “free will” possible within a mechanistic based view of humans. Genetics interact with the environment and from that flows behaviour. Is choice an illusion? And if it is how can there be individual responsibility? Perhaps we cat as e must. Shades of B. F. Skinner. Perhaps in the end we are not that different from his experimental pigeons.



Retired environmental chemist, I was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1940 and I am still alive today living with my wife in Victoria, BC, Canada. I met my wife, Judy, in Roseville, MI in 1960. I retired from teaching chemistry in 1999 at Langara College in Vancouver, B.C. I have two children. I worry a lot about the future of the planet threatened by nuclear war and climate change.


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