What Was To Be

The day was due when all the world would break,
When things too strange to name would rise and roar,
From mountain peaks to seabed, stone would shake,
Then cease to be. This globe would be no more.

While still we lived, we took all we could spy,
Abandoned lives for trips we wished we'd made,
Played one last waltz, so dancing we might die,
Or gambled all on games we'd never played.

And now we wake, alone, without a cent,
To birdsong and the sunrise through the smoke.
And try to find someone who'll share a tent.
We all attempt to see it as a joke.

We who, deceived, believed our doom was real,
As such did act, and thus true doom did seal.

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.

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.

Hero of the Hour

I've fought the villains of the world, and won;
My monument in every town will stand.
A new and virtuous era, I've begun.

But I've regrets no-one will understand.

As prophesied, a hero I became:
First was I pure; secondly, I fought —
In battle gear worked hard to earn my fame,
And brought the count of minions down to nought.

But now, I find there's nowhere left to turn.
The world in need of saving, I have saved.
To life that once I lived, I can't return:
I still want things that, leaving home, I craved.

'Twere better, had my death been by the sword.
These years of peace will bring me no reward.

(The hour was around six in the morning, I think.)