Poetry Compilation XIII: Critical Mass

Poem 1: Infernal Combustion Engine

In the darkest corners of London,
a decrepit industrial warehouse
had once contained an infernal engine.

‘Twas a beast born of man’s deep desires,
a metallic behemoth that sparked
forth technological revolution.

An unrelenting march of progress,
countless victims of mass production
left battered behind its fuel-driven wake.

They ignored the devastation
‘til it reared its ugly head their way,
but by that moment, it was far too late.

In darkness the beast now rests dormant;
battered bricks along the flooded Thames
the lone remains of a broken nation.

Poem 2: karoshi

The work never stops.
Fight ’til you drop.
Why did you stop?
Don’t you want this job?
Surely you want to stay off the streets.
Surely you want more than scraps to eat.
It’s not you have anywhere else left to go.
Even your pathetic life has value, you know?
All you must do is work ’till you drop.
Who knows, if you slave away every day,
Perhaps even you could make it to the top.
So work,
all day and night,
and fight.
’til your hair turns gray.
Be the dim lamp lit by filthy kerosene,
flickering faintly in pitch-black company.
No need to make a scene,
just do as you’re told,
and soon you’ll be free.

Poem 3: Fireworks

A vivid fountain
of rainbows explodes across
a midnight sky.

Keeping perfect time,
a gunpowder symphony
plays to friendly cheers.

Poem 4: Top Of The World

I dreamt a dream a while ago,
in which a massive tower rose.
Composed of vibrant colors
and built of many shapes and sticks
on a foundation of plastic bricks,
a tower taller than all others.
Higher than the highest heights,
it pierced into a clear blue sky…
No clouds nor birds laid in sight,
just me, an empty world, and the tower.
I start to climb, higher and higher,
but it just grows ever taller,
and the inside becomes a maze
from which I can’t escape.
Just as I’m about to return below,
I see an end…
so I ascend…
higher and higher…
until at last, I’m on the top of the world.
I gaze across a boundless skyline,
the curvature of our planet evident.
I can almost touch the horizon,
approaching space without a helmet…
Then it all comes crashing down.
The tower’s base starts to shudder,
sticks and blocks begin to crumble.
It leans and leans ever further,
and soon from the top I tumble.
Down I go, towards the surface,
yet there’s no sound of screams nor cracks.
As the ground rushes higher to meet me,
the tower’s myriad shifts to black.

Poem 5: Re:Vise

Do it again.
Try harder.
It’s not good enough.
Try again.
I can do better.
Why is it never good enough?
Will I never be good enough
to note what’s on my mind,
if I must restart a thousand times?
Does it even matter,
does anyone even read these?
Why do I even try?
Why should I try?

Why not?
Who’s to say that
good isn’t good enough?
Isn’t this your doing?
Isn’t it?
Why do you insist
on making things harder for yourself,
thrusting your heart upon a metaphysical shelf
far beyond where anyone can reach?
Just stop.
You don’t need to reach for the stars
when you don’t even know who you are
or what you want to be.

Poem 6: Countdown

As the time went down to 10,
they wondered if they’d meet again.
As the time went down to 9,
they wondered if it would go fine.
As the time went down to 8,
they really could only wait.
As the time went down to 7,
they kneeled and prayed to god in heaven.
As the time went down to 6,
they at last came to grips.
As the time went down to 5,
they were happy to have been alive.
As the time went down to 4,
they could ask for no more.
As the time went down to 3,
they’d just have to wait and see.
As the time went down to 2,
they watched as anticipation grew.
As the time went down to 1,
they knew it could no longer be undone.
As the time went down to 0,
they waited tensely, stuck in limbo.
As the time went down to -1,
they… wait, what?

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