Diane Hine

Silver Star - 4,143 Points (25 July 1956)

Maybe - Poem by Diane Hine

Say, eighteen hundred thousand years ago
A lightning strike set blaze a bushy plain
And seared the seeds of life that hid below.

When cooled, a group appeared on charred terrain
And scratched the earth with thumb-opposing hands
In search of tuber, pulse or wild grain.

Alert and ill-at-ease in open lands
The scattered stones and sticks provided arms
And held aloft, some branches glowed like brands.

Then shelter bound, they took their smoking charms
To ward against their fears, yet knew not how
They held an epoch's clock within their palms.

A child played with cast-off ashy bough
And fed a spark from which a tiny flame
then sparked a torch in every bony brow.

And ages passed for which they had no name
In which an unlocked, heat-wrought wealth of food
progressively transformed their bodies' frame.

Small jaws and teeth, and shorter gut ensued
While larger brains advanced their skulls to fore
And differential sex size was subdued.

The species spread and prospered, wood to shore
Time freed, to hone fine blades for hunt or art
And language flourished in the cause of war.

More ages passed and time forbade rechart
Until their burning needs enclosed complete
Dependent bodies, slaves to fire at heart.

What now to burn? their fossil fuels deplete
To feed a shared compulsion, both engrossed
And having filled their carbon sinks, replete.

In chains of servitude and thrall inmost
Denial is the addicts common state
Poor parasites of all-consuming host.

*Please choose from one of the following options-

a) Upheaval, floods and famines decimate
Descendents left to rue their sorry fate.

b) With cognate love and empathy innate
They turned the tide before it was too late.

c) Almighty God did frothily berate
With smiting, all who'd dared to fornicate.

d) None of the above.


Comments about Maybe by Diane Hine

  • Kim Barney (3/16/2016 11:16:00 PM)


    Very nice. Bri Edwards is the reason I saw your poem today, because of his response to it, which he posted on his own poet page. Glad I found it! (Report) Reply

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  • Eugene Levich (3/13/2016 12:47:00 AM)


    What a wonderful, enthralling, and horrifyingly literate poem! Chapeau Mme. Hine! (Report) Reply

  • Bri Edwards (3/12/2016 10:31:00 PM)


    “ e “: My Answer To Diane Hine ….. [See her poem “Maybe”; Mankind’s survival ….or not; perhaps tongue-in-cheek; fairly short]

    [not b or c or d. a in part. but also e]


    e) Forced by desperation and doubt,
    the weathered survivors cast about,
    and no longer saved the lives of those..
    too old or feeble to reach their own …….
    …..toes.

    Those who could not or would not work,
    though young, were eaten, ….feet to tongue.
    Medicines to save dying babes, and the old, and …
    cancer and ‘bad-heart’ patients, etc., was sold ….
    to those who could pay the steadily rising prices.
    No longer would it be doled out to the ‘poorer’, in slices …
    …of government handouts.

    Another “tool” was mandated family planning, to control population,
    increasing or decreasing, as varied from nation to nation.
    No more vacation flights, as most planes were grounded.
    Few conveniences and longer work hours, as before “civilizations” were founded.

    To bed with sundown and up to toil at dawn,
    no more pink flamingos on manicured lawns.
    The survivors would make or not make a new Dawn of Mankind.

    (March 12, 2016)


    bri :)
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/20/2014 9:28:00 PM)


    Outstanding stuff, very ambitious. (Report) Reply

  • J.b. Lebuert (3/20/2012 7:16:00 PM)


    Well another awsome poem - I really like the options, and I have to go with a being in my pessimistic phase right now. You do write some deep stuff! (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (3/15/2012 2:42:00 PM)


    Brilliant Diane - I'll go for b) too! ! (Report) Reply

  • (3/14/2012 9:18:00 PM)


    Wow, the knowledge contained in this took my breath away (only recently I learned of the dna change that shortened the jaw and allowed the brain more room to grow larger; before that, I thought it was all a function
    of our meat eating diet) . Yes, I too hope the answer will be B, but of course, we may not be around to tell the final truth of the ending- but the dance sure has been fun, hasn't it?
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/14/2012 8:00:00 AM)


    An intelligent and precise piece. Informative but not didactic, therefore tereffic and serruptiriously educational. The content that evolution has taken humans along a norrow and seemingly intractable and irreversable course appears to seal our collective fate, but as sentient beings and with an undying faith in the human experiment and it's spirit I do not believe we will just give up. A love of life and science tells me B) is surely our only course. Fantastic the survey device at the end. Simply to demonstrate with 1 simple question the expected and most obvious answer but see the myriad complexity and diverse responses as is the human condition. Bravo. (Report) Reply

  • (3/14/2012 4:19:00 AM)


    Maybe so... I love the optional extras at the bottom! Great reader involvement... My favourite line is (And language flourished in the cause of war.) what a thought! ! Thank you Karen (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Poem Edited: Sunday, December 9, 2012


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