Nine times that will come
1. There will come a time when Antarctica gets back its forests. They will be delivered by seabirds, seeded deep in ice-carved cracks and growing outwards, growing stranger, knitting themselves together with iceproof vines as the earth moves and the weather warms. By and by they will fill with things that were once penguins. When the time comes for the continent to return the favour to the rest of the world, it will do so with innumerable varieties of things that were once penguins.
2. There will come a time when that tide you were so worried about goes out and beneath it are only purple shells, all the way to the foggy horizon; that and pools darting with tiny fishes.
3. There will come a morning when the sun rises and rises and carries on rising and rising and rising until it is a pinprick in a dark sky; an exceedingly long morning, certainly long enough to run the thing through an orbital mechanics routine or two and get an idea of the level of bother the planet is in. But be sure some ridiculous action cock in a spacesuit will put us back somehow; this is the way of things.
4. Three time-like dimensions will walk into a bar; that is, from the point of view of our time-like dimension. The bar will be at the centre of the universe that has no centre and everyone will get a choice as to which direction they head off in, time-wise; those who choose to head off in dimensions other than the original appearing to the remaining patrons as if they have immovably frozen in place. For ever after (our ever after, at least) those people will be used as tables. In one of the other timelines this joke will have a punchline.
5. As was foretold in the 1950s, one day the deserts will bloom though atomic power. They will grow the great dry trees of the far future, and their blooms will crumble into dust at a touch; but there will be little there to touch them except bats and hurricanes, so they will usually last the whole Winter long. Plenty of time during the Summer’s dust for the roots to mine for uranium again.
6. Grass will grow over your cities, but no worry, no worry; from above they will seem like lumpy hills, and sheep will wander the bridges between building-tops, and office workers will share jokes about having to usher goats out from the window-cleaning platforms and through the building and back onto the slopes above. Up in the centre of the city where the skyscrapers are biggest they will be topped with ice, and mountain-birds will dangle dead rats at the windows of CEOs. One way to stay humble on the thousandth floor. And if not there is always to option to live above and just seal the canyons up. No worry, no worry.
7. There will come a time when nothing can be lost except to entropy the unimaginable thief. Or at least when all things that are lost will know where they are and in time they will be found, but maybe not by the person who lost them. And there will come a time too when the things that are lost gather together and join up their tiny brains and use them to make petty crimes.
8. That time too when there are no dolphins left only dolphin ghosts, roaming through the air in packs as they used to in the water. They are hard to see but there is a certain quality to the air when it is full of dolphin ghosts, a sort of clamminess, and you can hear their tiny chirrups like distant birds. Of course they too swim through the ghosts of every dead dinosaur, as do we all.
9. And finally that time when we will mistake snow for drifting ash and then for industrial foam and then for bleached bees and then for shredded paper and then for the degeneration of our eyes; but after all that, amazingly, unexpectedly, it will still be snow.