Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NaPoWriMo 9: At First Blush

Ooh, this was fun. How to avoid the obvious temptation to descend into some soft love-obsessed whimsy. Some gentle ode to young infatuation perhaps? It made me want to write something hard and cynical instead!

In the end here is what presented itself to me this afternoon at my computer. I'm not going to say that I'm obsessed with human self-destruction or anything, but ....

Containment Failure

At first blush of
bacterium on skin
medical practitioners
gathered around to
palpitate and
speculate and
poke and prod and

When later the
blush became a
tomato tide of
shut down a
doctor’s rounds of
contagion had already
sewn destruction through
every ward.

Sunday afternoon
visitors carried the
barest hint of
colour with them to
church meetings,
family dinners and
sports games.
By the time the
story was leaked
to the news there
was no one left
to tell it.

People in apartment
buildings carried
disease between floors.
Couriers made
deliveries across
city blocks and
airliners flew
contagion across

In the end the
human race was
felled not by
flood or
quake or
global warming
But by microbic
pestilence fuelled by
high density living
and the global

In 1000 years a
small tribe living
in a remote
river valley in the
Amazon will advance
sufficiently to
go out into the
They will discover
abandoned high rises
and empty tarmac,
the Easter Island
relics of modern
society and
someone will
ponder on
recursive patterns
and the history
of progress.


Catherine said...

Well, you certainly avoided sentimentality! Something I also struggle with. I like your "leather" poem too - I think you avoided sentimentality in that one, as well, by keeping to the concrete details.

chocolate covered musings said...

very planet of the apes. worth waiting to read.