History of the Earth (Clockwise from Top Right)

—pieced from Does God Play Dice? by Ian Stewart

THE CHAOTIC LIQUID

Imagine a vertical slice of water.
Warm up the bottom. Keep it warm.
Watch it honeycomb. Watch it swirl.
One simple thing remains constant:
the dripping of a tap.

THE PRISTINE EARTH

We are not witnessing nature, elusive,
a capricious creature. The solar wind
gives birth to a rich mixture of spices
and strangely shaped fruits. We are
the distant uncertainty. Painfully slow,
a roar can be heard eight kilometres away.

THE FLOOD

Hyperion is tumbling, accumulating wobbles,
a bottle in a cosmic ocean. Sit still.
I hear the leaking rain drop against a basin.
I hear the irregularities of the heartbeat.
Sit still. Snakes and bears can be detected
only by their shivering.

MODERN EARTH

We are living in a world of four dimensions,
all curled up, a terrified armadillo. Stretch.
Stretch and fold. Imagine the Earth, a doughnut,
American-style, with a hole. Imagine the Earth,
a celestial potato, blind faith. Imagine God,
The Theory of Everything. Newton was a man,
a passing fad, a coin landing on an edge. Time
is the clock not made of clockwork.

EARTH’S ULTIMATE FATE AS A STAR

A gigantic rocket, a tiny triumph of engineering,
waits in readiness. It’s too late to go back.
It’s a cosmic delusion. The countdown reaches
its final seconds. I do wonder what the aliens
will make of it: in particular, the photograph
of Jane Goodall and her chimpanzees
might lead to misconceptions.

Previously published in The Hangman’s Lime.

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Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of Sixth Finch. His poems can be found in Octopus, notnostrums, esque, H_NGM_N and other journals. Rob’s “Tron” and “Coach” are also in Reprint.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “I’d like to see someone re-animate The Dot and the Line.”

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