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Sojourn's Close

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Struggling in the dark to breathe
I flip the light switch underneath
It's glow surrounds me like a wreath
I've landed in a cave
An icy mountain cave

My pod is running out of air
I pop the canopy and stare
An ice cave lighted by my flare
I take a deepened breath
(Is that a tinge of death?)

My focus sharpens, taking stock
A hint of light there, and some rock
I grab supplies and start to walk
Along the purple ice
A cave of purple ice!

I find the sunlight, of all things
But not a sound of wanderings
No flitting buzz of insect wings
Just a horrid silence
Vacant, horrid silence

A vista spreads before my feet
A valley, lakes and trees, replete
Yet not a hint of hearts that beat
Just throbbing in my ears
The throbbing of my fears

No flap of creatures on the wing
No howls or bellows echoing
No noise from ANY living thing
There's something very wrong
Yes, something's deadly wrong

Not long ago there must have been
Here and beyond a wondrous scene
Lifeforms designed in types yet seen
Now, just death's aroma
Putrid death's aroma

Just weeks before we'd scanned this place
From our approach, not far in space
'Twas full of life and not a trace
Of ANYthing to fear
No pathogens to fear

How could this splendid landscape lay
With trees and plants, from hills to bay
Yet ALL be in such deep decay?
Not a creature living
Not a thing left living!

The smell was overwhelming rot
The more I breathed, the more I fought
To not expel upon that spot
All that was inside me
All that lay inside me

Just months behind me, colonists
Builders, couples, biologists
And naught but this apocalypse
To welcome their sad eyes
Just ghastly mass demise

What caused this ruin here was grand
A cataclysm, air and land
An answer I MUST have in hand
Before my friends arrive
Or we will not survive

No, we will not survive ...
Not one soul left alive.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 8/18/2017 6:49:00 AM
Oh well, reads like a film storyline where the theme is "how to save the world coming to an end", well described, Greg:)
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/20/2017 9:18:00 PM
Thanks, Jo ... yes, I suppose it could be made into a movie. There may be a sequel coming, if it "hits" me, lol. ;-)
Date: 8/18/2017 6:08:00 AM
A time for deep thinking and action--well articulated theme!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/20/2017 9:11:00 PM
Thanks so much, Vijay - glad you liked it, Friend! :-)
Date: 8/18/2017 4:27:00 AM
Interesting write! I envisioned this to be someone living within a dome on a distant planet, and things aren't going very well! But that is just my interpretation! I loved this poem just as it is, with a flowing description of the land and absence of life, a scary depiction of what it could be like someday! What a fantastic piece, one that I really enjoyed reading this morning! Great Work!!
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 8/20/2017 9:02:00 PM
This was a lot of fun, Russell, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! It is science fiction, and a colonist who has gone ahead of the rest of his fellows to scout a new planet, thinking it's the perfect new home, but discovering something VERY wrong. I may write a sequel. Blessings, Friend!