What Was Left

In piles high, the gold of olden kings
And silver goblets set with polished jade;
Great iron gates and dainty wire-wrought things.
The cream and crest of all the Earth once made.

A sword of steel unmatched before or since:
Damascus wrought, the proof its patterned sheen.
A cut-quartz circlet fit to crown a prince,
With single, giant emerald glinting green.

The heady scent of spices stored in bulk
And clearest honey, in the rarest jars.
A bottled squid — formaldehyde-drenched hulk —
Its wall-set jar a window to the stars.

A treasure ark, on dying sunbeams hurled,
To bear the wonders of a finished world.
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Long In Returning

Prepare now for the plunge into the deep:
To slumber through that sea of currents strange,
To flee the storms rampaging as we sleep,
And know we'll waken to a world of change.

We fall to face the grim Leviathan,
Who once survived the storms that now return.
From such an ancient mind, we'll dare to learn
A history we hope contains a plan.

To floods, we leave the rooms that were our home.
To thunderstorms, the towers of our song.
To leaf and thorn, the lands we made our own.
To hope and pride, our boasts when we were strong.

Our wisdom, both witheld and not yet won,
We'll save till we can rise and face the sun.