Jiggle em if you hafta

There’s dust a blowing,
sir, big as a a continent,
and expanding.
Overtake the hemisphere
say a couple a weeks.

With an awkward pause.
Why bring it up

Likely extinguish all life.
We can fix it.

Oh, let nature run its course.

But, that’s just it.
It ain’t nature.
It hot and ugly,
vaporized alloys,
ionizing particulates.

Thought you said dust storm.
That’s more of a mushroom cloud.
You wanna try contain it?

Well, yes, sir.
I believe it would be
economically advantageous

The captain smiles,
and how so?

Cheaper stop it now,
than terraform some other planet

You’d be left with
half a planet to play with.

Half the development costs.

OK, good, you’re learning,
the captain covers her collector
mouthing you-just-want-to-study,
he nods,
she offers a hand, get me em numbers.

By the way she said em
it meant jiggle-the-numbers
and the handshake was a
back channel to someone in TR.

Um, shure will do that
he questions but corrects
with eureka on his skin
I’ll inform technological reclamation,
maybe be that there’s something for em.

And em meant us this time
a whole planet, for us, on the outskirts,
economically feasible
if you leave those details out.

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Think of it as code switching in the 24th century. In a culture where curiosity is considered menacing, while everything is geared to economic progress, and omnipresent data-collectors can't quite make out colloquial language.

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Saturn, My Love

Your love is plumb round
The planet from you
And you got water to collect
For Earth, they ran through
Their supply allotment
Long time ago
And it’s on you
And your love is plumb round
The planet
Also collecting water
For home.
But no one thinks about love
As they dismantle the Jewel.

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Thud-klomp thud-klomp
the booted hooves come
stomping across the lava
fields into your house.

Your cats scream and run
but you’re frozen in place
mouth agape, batter dripping
from a wooden spoon.

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Updated Friday, June 20th, 2014.

Image Text of the poem Thud-klomp by Franklyn Monk
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