top of page

After the Fall

Underneath its bonnet

the engine catches, unsung syllables,

hidden notes of an era’s final hymn


They’re bringing firewood now

by horse and cart, vegetables we

sowed in sullen patches


Some survived the frost, radio

battery almost exhausted tells of

coastal cities underwater, oil stocks


Down to final barrels, drills and rigs

rusting in haunted Arabian deserts

moonlight flickering on the only substance


Left to hoard – gold!  How many

civilizations have perished for thy seductive

glow, sunlight captured in trinket and coin


At night fires flicker over lost horizons

rubble of ancient enmity still burning,

wires welded inside dusty hulks of tanks


Where cats and birds once again

have made their homes inside grounded

turrets, weed choked, emptied of fuel’s spark


Underneath its bonnet

the engine catches, once a year I crank it into life

a precious minute snatched from the past


Listen to its piston-talk, breathe in acrid fumes

reminders of how it was before the fall

our children will not hear these sounds


They will bless our planet’s grim tenacity

a new beginning salvaged from the old


Tell their own children how out of it’s crawling

billions, a mere ten thousand survived

To Go Back To
Hit your browser's

© Johnmichael Simon



bottom of page