B. R. Dionysius
It is a dirty old story
Of a boom & bust cycle
Beyond the scale of anything.
Earth, an over-oxygenated fish
Tank burst with nutrient growth.
The original hothouse skyscrapers;
Carboniferous gods that thrust
Themselves like a giant’s beanstalk
Up through the world’s wet roof.
Giant ferns unwound like contrary
Clock springs, the cogs of their spores
Spun over the forest’s damp floor
As green fibrous assassins choked
The life out of titans, millennial wise.
Time, the eternal miner
Chipped patiently away
At the world forest’s rich
Vein. Spent eons loading
New atoms into the trunks
Of lifeless trees as though
Presents were being stuffed
Into a Christmas stocking.
It was a Frankenstein morph
In reverse, a transformation
Of the living into the dead.
There was a smell of methane
As the Earth’s fist squeezed
& the black putrefaction began.
It was searched for
Like a cardiac surgeon
Sniffing out a heartbeat.
At first ungainly, where
The flicker of a pulse
Registered at the surface
Of the Earth’s thick skin
Like an Adam’s apple’s bob.
It was witnessed protruding
Through creek banks like a weft
Of femur erupting from a shattered
Leg. Then, the vivisection began.
Black marrow sucked out of the bone
Like breath out of a lung.
Then the desire was to go deeper,
As if pumping one body full of chemicals
Would cure the disease that appeared
In everyone else. So they went at it; a gold
Rush hysteria as needles pin-cushioned
The earth’s dark suit. A voodoo curse
Bringing pain to the body’s deep flesh.
They brushed aside relatives who moped
Around the old fence line & dug for their
Lives as though they were children, mining
Crab tunnels with a wild irreverent glee.
Never minding where the vortex of sand
Flew, which locals were upset or whose eyes
Watered, as grains bit into a delicate few.
It is like cutting the fin
Off a blue shark’s body
& throwing the bleeding
Trunk back into the water;
To die by sluggish drowning.
A useless thing choking on its
Own being. It is trawling by
Impossible numbers or cutting
Off an iceberg’s tip, to harvest
Slush for a short-lived cocktail
Party. A drunken yield for refined
Tastes, that loses sight of the ocean.
It is clearing an entire forest in order
To build a temporary airstrip.
It is the mistaken language of a child
An innocent’s trick, mouthing ‘beeble’
For bird; the meaning crystal clear
As a water table left untapped, but
Its annunciation polluted when the time
Comes to extract. This is a body without
The need to resuscitate, a set of lungs
Without the desire to inflate.
It is the breaking of a hundred million
Year old pact, the thieving of a fairytale
Giant’s coal sack. A boom & bust cycle
Beyond the scale of anything.
It is cutting off a dirty old story before
The narrator reaches the punch line.
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