Old Mother Airtha circled the hearth once again
warming by the great Life-Fire.
Good health followed her ancient trek
except the shivering times.
Lately, she strolled the hearth-trip squirming
inside. Feeling uncomfortable.
Her skin burned in places
and there were strange repulsive smells.
Her breath shallow and wheezy.
Mother Airtha had never known
her kind to suffer this ailment.
The others never spoke.
Her dismal and dumb hearth mates
disparate, a dormant clan.
Airtha sensed her chafed skin and
looked at the others.
She pondered her fate. Are they dead?
Did they ever shiver with fever or ice?
Did they ever tremble
Airtha didn’t know. They were Before-Time.
The hearth fire scalded. Mother Airtha
gazed at the clan circles beyond – wondering.
Would Life-Fire light her death shell?
Ancient Airtha shivered with fever.
Sickening, retching deep in her pith,
she passed from conciousness.
Old Mother’s form fought sickness
Seeking to purge.
Airtha quivered, people ran
clutched, clenched, beseeched.
Surface rolled like shaking blubber
slashed from majestic Blue. Solid earth
moved like muck.
Mountains melted into naked heat.
Sun suffocated, disappeared in darkness.
Oceans slopped, slung from basins –
cascading, crushing. Cities crashed in Punk
crescendo, tin can pyramids in a carnival game.
Mankind clenched mankind and moaned –
The greatness of the great Adamic ruler
fled from history
like packs of haggard wolves
from helicopter hunters.
Humans clung to Earth once again.
Ken Bradstock 1992