A steampunk tale of time travel. 3d Place, Story-Poem Contest
|To Begin Again ...
The century is closing out -
H. G. Wells's work is done.
Time travel's no longer in doubt;
the hard work has begun.
We know that time and space are curved;
we seek now a short cut
across the span that's been observed;
to break out from time's rut.
Discovery is in its prime,
a crystal's found at last.
Its vibrations disrupt time:
it slows or makes it fast.
The challenge now is to control,
to contain its power,
to navigate time's yawning hole
by year, by day, by hour.
The boiler gleams, the sprockets shine;
the future calls our name.
We climb aboard, the gears align;
we're off to seek our fame.
Into a cloud of mist we're swept.
It darkens like the night.
Blindly into the void we've leapt
now we await the light.
Stars squish to points and then dilate,
the universe explodes.
We're guided by the hand of fate
down this new unknown road.
Silence! Now, slowly sound returns
and with it comes our sight.
A desert plain. The hot sun burns.
No colors; all is white.
Something's occurred in history
but what we just can't tell.
Nothing's alive; a mystery –
the Earth has turned to hell.
We must go back, raise the alarm
while there's still time to change.
Protect the earth from mankind's harm;
our future rearrange.
We reset all the dials and such,
engage the control rod,
yet nothing seems to happen much.
What is this curse, oh God?
The boiler gauge is reading low,
seems we're out of water.
In this future, we couldn't know –
we're lambs led to slaughter.
We swelter in the meager shade,
the perspiration flows.
We contemplate mistakes we've made
as disappointment grows.
I glance and see a sight profound
with unbelieving eyes.
A tender shoot bursts through the ground,
its green leaves a surprise.
The condensation from our craft
has fed the thirsty earth.
There, gleaming in the sunlight's shaft,
a promise of rebirth.
We cannot change the past, it seems;
we can begin again
as nature nurtures future dreams:
a new Garden of Eden.
An entry for the May round of "Invalid Item"
Line Limit: 100
Line Count: 64
Form: End rhyme (ABAB) in quatrains; common meter (8/6/8/6)