poem30 Mar 2015 09:58 am


Initially just a blip in the new hi-tech
dark spectrum telescopes,
The thing came through the sol system
At a good clip; two grad students
from Bangladesh first spotted it
still outside the orbit of Saturn.

A Chinese ice miner
happened to be inbound
right place-right time
asteroid-gleaned snowcone slowed it
Brazilian tug nudged it into orbit.
It was imaged with all the best telescopes
some massive mottled thing
jagged at one end,
reason for being here problematic
but eroded symbols down the side
proved it no mere rock.

Then it disappeared for a while
static burst stage-magic-style poof
no trace remained
tensions flared:
Who took it? Where was it?
Talk-show coverage bloomed;

Several months later,
tiny hillocks appeared.
The mounds rose smoothly
one and a half to two meters tall
spiral trail curling precise as Roman roads;
entrance at the top.

Nocturnal emissions from apical vents
unknown insectoids descending the spiral trail
venturing forth in search of food
perhaps data gathering as well

In Georgia
(The one once part of the USSR)
An amateur entomologist
Excavated a nest
During its quiescent daylight hours
Discovering thousands of spider ants,
he called them, linked together
Right antenna to left, left to right
spiral within a spiral, all connected,
circuit complete:
tiny ant-like aliens linked.
A hive mind?

Autopsies revealed neural connections
Sheathed within telescoping
antennae, whose termini
lock in place when adpressed

But so many mounds, such
prolific breeders. And impossible
to monitor the wilderness remnants
of our entire Earth. Mounds multiplied–
an exponential, deadly increase.

A conference convened in Beijing
where learned exobiologists
exolinguists, exosociologists and the like
discussed how best to deal with the visitors
whilst the UN, NATO, and similar groups
probed the alien military threat

I guess it was about a week later
the venomous Thinning began;
yet survivors were fit and healthy
in Indiana and a part of Laos–
in retrospect a generous allotment
considering our minimal fertility now
and we were spared the nuclear war
we probably would have inflicted on ourselves
when we reached 10 billion or so.

I do miss the feeling I used to get
looking at the sprays and clots of stars
wondering at night
who might be out there.


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