Then. by Neil Creighton


Then the earth went quiet.
No creature called.
No background hum.
No crickets, cicadas, frogs.
Birds gasped, opened their beaks,
held out their wings to cool,
then fell to the ground.

Then water took low atolls,
covered dunes,
inched up river valleys,
covered abandoned houses
and twisted war machines,
lapped tall towers
still standing like strange sentinels
in the orange tinted tide.

Then, on the far horizon,
the sun flamed dirty smudge,
lit the mountains
and the haggard faces
of the survivors
moving higher and higher
over the pock-marked land.

Then suddenly it dipped
into impenetrable black.
No silver pepper of stars.
No moon, though the ocean
still ebbed and flowed.

Then only darkness
covered the face
of the mighty deep.

by Neil Creighton

Editor’s Note: This poem’s chilling imagery posits a future dystopia that seems inevitable to many of us. Art reflects our failures and our fears.


4 responses to “Then. by Neil Creighton”

  1. msheehan Avatar

    Not inevitable.

    1. Neil Creighton Avatar
      Neil Creighton

      No, not inevitable. It may be a hyperbole. It may be a warning. i wrote it as both of those things, a stimulus for thought.

  2. Nancy Avatar

    Startling, stunning. Beautifully and thoughtfully writ. Inevitable to me, BTW

    1. Neil Creighton Avatar
      Neil Creighton

      Thanks Nancy.

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