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Friday, September 02, 2016


by Steven Deutsch
Burning Earth source: WallpaperFolder; Lab Report source: Jimmie at flickr.

Set the planet to simmer,
with the ordinary hubbub
of some seven billion lives.
Add the ordered activity
of the supporting cast,
plankton to pachyderms.
Then factor in the geologic—
those generous memories
from an ancient past.

Now, cover gently
with the exhalation
of industrial waste.
Measure often as you wait,
so men of stature
may use the numbers
to cudgel those across an aisle
created for the purpose
of disagreeing.

For your report,
use a lined notebook--
the kind recommended
for second graders
practicing penmanship
in the long ago of future,
and record the changes
that astound and horrify
for the next few hundred years.

No need to turn in your assignment.
In time, the pages of your history
will curl, and brown, and burn.

Steve Deutsch is a retired practitioner of fluid mechanics, as applied to mechanical hearts and heart valves.  He lives with his wife, a visual artist, in State College, Pennsylvania.  He is responsible for the blog: and has published short fiction and poetry, most recently in Misfit Magazine, One-Sentence Poems, and at Silver Birch Press.