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Chicxulub [Dec. 4th, 2006|11:14 am]

I wrote a poem. Free verse. Science-fictional. I wrote it in November, but had other things to post about until now.


After 80 million years
of Cretaceous glory
we arose
thumbed and aware
from among our feathered
brethren scaly beasts

A hundred thousand more
the spark caught fire
and we knew that
we knew

A dozen millenia
for us to write
our names
upon the world

A handful of centuries
to stare knowing
into the night

A single month
to see it come

And know that we were doomed

* * *

From halfway round the world
I saw the impact flash
reflected on the moon
a sudden dawn
to herald
coming darkness

And knew across the sea
a continent had died
in supersonic flame

The earth began to dance
and sway
a gentle glow suffused
the sky
from orbit molten glass
rained down
in iridescent glory

And as the waves bore up
as high as hills
to wipe us out of history

I stood beneath
their great green curl
beheld the death
of everything I knew

And all I could think was

[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2006-12-06 01:04 am (UTC)

But when I reread the first part I decided you were positing an unknown sentient and maybe civilized race. Yes?


I figure you could have anything up to pre- or early Industrial Revolution levels of civilization and still leave nothing that would survive that kind of catastrophe enough for us to see any traces of it. (Heck, except for the Moon landings, I don't know that we'd leave anything that durable behind if we suddenly vanished, either...)

So I was recounting stages of development. Millions of years as proto-sentients. A hundred thousand years at the stone age level: fire and speech and self-awareness. Ten thousand or so years with writing and early civilization. A few centuries of enough science to be able to look into the night sky and start to understand what you were seeing.

How far beyond that did they get? I didn't want to be specific. Just far enough to see their end coming, not far enough to avoid it. I think they strove for a lot of things, but the appreciation of beauty was one of them. Strawberries hanging from the cliff...

(Early on, I toyed with making them space-faring and the asteroid as a human saurian error, but there was too much exposition to fit into a poem, so they ended up more open-ended and unknown.)
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