The Day The Earth Stood Still, were we unmoved?
This Island Earth – is Reason really King?
Deep Impact – though some find the case unproved,
It Came From Outer Space – some potent thing.
The Shape Of Things To Come we may suppose
To be much like the shape of things before;
But are we well-informed about all those?
That lack could be complacency’s key flaw!
Two Thousand and One, Twenty-Ten, have gone.
Since Nineteen-Ninety-Nine, our Moon’s still here;
But has it the same face that always shone,
Or did fresh scars evoke ancestral fear?
“Watch the skies!” Our ancestors saw need -
Metropolis – they watched their cities fall;
Terminator: Judgement Day, indeed!
The Thing From Another World – it yet may call.
Them! Film antics smudge the screen of mind,
Blur our perceptions; much simply distracts.
‘Midst monster movies, though, some truths we find:
Like land and legend, trove of buried facts.
They bounce and burn, their images are aired:
Meteor! Untold thousands of them yet.
Tunguska: struck! Then, revolution spared
The world from taking notice of the threat.
This Sword of Damocles hangs by a thread:
The tug of gravity; inertia’s flight.
An apple nudged Sir Isaac, it is said;
Next harbinger may land not quite so light.
When Worlds Collide priorities can change;
Some Prime Directive come to mind at last!
Armageddon may thoughts rearrange;
Late though, to learn the lessons of the past.
A fresh Shoemaker-Levy could be due,
And motivate our steps to fitter ways;
War Of The Worlds – does it persist? Renew?
The standing stones mark ticking of the days.
© 2010 armadillozenith Graham Peter King.
What befell – and what fell upon – our ancestors? Something motivated them to pay attention to the skies and to mark recurring cosmic patterns by diligent calendar-counts and the huge effort of erecting stone circles.. Was it something cataclysmic they had experienced and feared would return, and so sought forewarning? Are some more recent preoccupations – in literature, TV and movies – portents of a similar danger, ahead of us? What may still lie in our future?
This poem is experimental in that I have directly built its lines largely from assembled film or book titles and references.