the dawn of civilisation

Poem #13 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


a whistle shrieks
in mid-morning
just before
the thunder of a blast
from down in the gorge valley

the sound marks
rock-smashing progress
in the forward creep
of the sewerage line

it’s a signal
of the end of days
for the outhouse
and the night-cart
arriving in the form
of filtration
and treatment plant
and of sculpted porcelain
for the forging
of a modern town

but the excitement comes
at evening
in the exploration
of new rock formations
and the exposed white heart
of a granite boulder

it lies in the marvel
of smooth semi-circles
in broken rock
drill holes
that held explosive charges

and it’s in the finding and collection
of the red yellow blue and green
coated copper wire
that conducted the impulse
and triggered the bang

it is in these small proofs
of being there
at the dawn of civilisation


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 14: butcher’s paper

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