How long did they believe their works would last?
How many hands would their scrolls travel along
through history to be read and rewritten from Alexandria’s past
so we, today, could benefit from that library’s innumerable throng?
None, it would seem, for though Man sought to ensure all,
Man also sought to destroy with fire to complete the raid,
and today we wish to believe our knowledge can endure all
with smart machines, yet there approaches a global fire, also Manmade,
and no firewall will save our cybernetic caches
of Science and Literature and Art
from being scattered in futile ashes
when we have scorched this planet to its heart.


It was a family of mice
beneath the kitchen sink,
each a victim of its vice—
corpses rotten, beginning to stink.
They had been caught in glue traps,
their bodies black and distended,
having been looking for food, perhaps,
and finding themselves now ended.
There was a father, a mother,
three children all on the same trap,
as if one had been caught, and then another,
all falling prey to the same mishap;
none learning from the one that came before,
wanting an easy snack, an easy life
in a place of respite away from the more
difficult fields, with their toil and strife.
And now their leisure had them shitting
themselves where they hunkered down to eat,
unable to move, wrenching, then quitting,
giving up the struggle, or else tearing their meat
in fear of the end, consuming their own flesh
to survive just a bit longer, as if they might
see their old world again, the one still fresh
with flowers and berries and gentle sunlight.
And I wondered, as I threw them away
in the trash bag, with its heaps of waste,
whether we, also, would some dark day
be trapped on a dying planet, inevitably faced
with our own imminent demise;
wondering whether we would still choose to lie
to ourselves as seas boiled beneath ashen skies—
able to do nothing but watch our own children die.