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Smaller Planet

I haven’t done a “News Poem” in a while.  I hope you enjoy this one on a tiny little fact that came out of the horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The planet we live on is quiet and deep
But sometimes it tosses and turns in its sleep.
On a cold winter night when it pulls tight and snug
We small little humans can be crushed like a bug.
When the news crosses oceans and national borders,
We’re told that our days are now just bit shorter.

The difference is tiny – no reason to stress
When you day has one point six millisecs less.
It’s a brief passing blip of the kind that’s unseen
As we all hurry through in our daily routine.
But for those combing piles of mud, bricks and mortar
The time that they have is now just a bit shorter.

This happened because as our planet contracts
The momentum it has must continue to act
Like a skater performing a delicate spin
Who raises the tempo and pulls her arms in.
While our planet has dreams like Olympic performers
The day that we have is now just a bit shorter.

It’s a trivial change that’s not worthy of note
For people now desperately staying afloat.
Far away from the panic the news cycle burns
As the planet, now smaller, just a bit faster turns
Like the breathless recount of a TV reporter
Whose allotment of airtime is just a bit shorter.

When one side of the planet gets up, one withdraws,
But the dreams each side has must now give us all pause.
If our Earth tends to sleep with a fit and a shake
We all have to wonder what moves when awake.
Those who measure these things keep an eye on the ball, for
It literally shrunk and is now a bit smaller.

11 thoughts on “Smaller Planet

  1. Brilliant, as always! I haven’t seen a poem like this here in a long time – I appreciate the effort that must go into it!

  2. Thanks! Unfortunately, a last minute edit didn’t go through properly so people reading this on RSS will have a version where the meter is off in the first stanza. Grrr! A little license is good, but too much … is just wrong!

  3. I go between paying close attention to the news and then being totally fed up with it. Today it’s Libya again. I really don’t know. I think you said it a week ago – something just changed to make the world more dangerous. I don’t know how much of it I can handle.

  4. Thanks, everyone! I don’t like to do these only because they take a lot more time than a usual post. And a lot of inspiration, frankly. This one was about 2 hours in the making, which is normally a lot more than I can do – but the day after St Patrick’s Day the city of St Paul is still pretty shut down and I knew I wasn’t going to get ahold of anyone before lunch so I went for it.

    I would like to do these all the time – and spend more than 2 lousy hours on them because rhyme and meter deserves more attention than mere prose. It would be a great living if some news mag was looking for something a bit out of the ordinary (hint!).

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