The Judgement of ManCopyright 1983, S Hartwell
"to the unknown lab rat"
Shining, the Spirit of judgement stands,
To cast in the balance the fate of man,
A dove and an eagle, one on each hand,
Are mercy and vengeance; the animalsí choice,
Of the fates for mankind, now they are given a voice.
"As sure as the day always dawns in the East,
He who is not fit to be kin to the beast,
Should be scourged from these lands like a hideous disease."
Thus spake the eagle on behalf of the ones,
Slain or tortured by man for sport, science or fun.
"Pray have mercy and spare him - though no more to reign,
From riches reduce him to rags, let his home be the plains;
Without knowledge or weapons - defenceless again."
Said the merciful dove - but which is more cruel -
Mankindís extinction or the animals to rule?
And Judgement decided to settle the score,
By letting mankind wage a terrible war,
All wealth and wisdom was lost and mankind made poor.
Half of this once ruling species by his fellows was slain,
The others self-sentenced to "survive on the plains".
THE MAN WHO SPOKE THE TRUTHCopyright 1984, S Hartwell
Tell me a bedtime story mother,
Goldilocks Iíve heard before,
Not Rumpelstiltskin, tell me another -
Tell me the tale of the Loki IV.
Long ago, ten years or more,
Mankind built the Loki IV,
And Spaceman Wallis, bold and brave,
Volunteered to go into space.
From his seat high in the sky,
Many visions met the eyes,
Of Spaceman Wallis, fair of face,
Things which shamed the human race.
He saw famine, war and death,
He saw how man had ruined earth,
All these things he said, and more,
Before earth "lost contact" with the Loki IV.
Now it circles out of sight,
A coffin in eternal night,
In that coffin in the sky,
Spaceman Wallis was left to die.
Copyright 1984, S Hartwell
Is there anybody out there? Someone looking down on me,
Staring at a dead dry world and trying to get through?
Red sand, dead towns and heat haze are all thatís left to see,
Just another lifeless planet on your spacecraftís forward view.
Did you once hear human voices winging out through space?
Our distant TV broadcasts drifting to your ears,
And now a thousand years too late, to this once jewelled orb you raced,
And on our ravaged, blistered world, will you shed an alien tear?
For among the dust and debris drift the whispers of the past,
Flitting wraiths on an arid plain, hear us whisper on the breeze,
Did you feel the tremors out in space from that atomic blast
When you journeyed - friend or conqueror - to a world which once had lands and seas?
THE PLANET WITH NO NAME
Copyright 1984, S Hartwell
This was arranged into a song by Andrew Hunt, a college friend
Once there was a race, it rose up from the slime,
It built great walls of theory along the paths of time,
It had a war to end wars, the outcome was the same,
To us it was the species on a planet with no name.
Our scientists had seen it - it was predator and prey,
Our politicians told us to contact it one day,
Then its patch of heaven - a brilliant flash of flame,
That patch of heaven empty of a planet with no name.
We could not see their reasons to kill off all the race,
Yet this unknown species was a sacrifice to space,
Whatever made them do it, the outcome was the same,
Once instead of debris was a planet with no name.
SONG OF THE WARRIOR OF THE MIND WARS
Copyright 1986, S Hartwell
Based on a strange dream about a telepathic elite
Now is the age of blood when the mind wars rage,
But my weapon is spent and my armour decays,
As the searing white blasts of mind energy fades
And the last shreds of power ebb from my brain,
I recall the glory, the shining success,
The mind burning thoughts of that lethal sixth sense,
The glowing gold and dead black of my battle dress,
While my mind drifts away and Iím left senseless.
Once clear flowing rivers of sweet water ran,
Turned to rivers of blood when the mind-wars began,
And deserts were born of inhabited lands,
And the rivers of crimson flowed, staining their sands.
The cities piled high with the fruits of such carnage,
The vile harvest of destruction the gifted ones gave,
Buildings shattered, blood spattered, debris scattered, night screamed at day,
As we fought the mind wars for a long forgot cause faraway.
A weary sun shines on the cities long dead,
When away from the slaughter an honest man fled,
And he prayed to the Gods our forefathers held,
That heíd sleep till the strife of mind wars left the world.
Like a statue he slumbers, like chiselled cold stone,
Though once he was mortal, warm flesh upon bone,
But his immortality has shown
Tis those around him who have hearts of cold stone;
For while he dreams of an age that will never return,
Around him the might of the mind wars still burns.
Copyright 1977, Sarah Hartwell
- I -
In distant heavens cold and oh! so far away,
Twinkles far Earthís brightly shining light of day,
In a constellation pleasing to some alien eye,
Its blue light is strung among the beads in their sky,
Its fair starlight pulses wash this yet more distant sphere,
Shining in the black vacuum outside this hostile atmosphere.
By all their alien gods I swear, disown my ancestral race far out of sight,
On that dull orb invisible to the eyes which watch the shifting stars each night.
It taints the sky that planet and its distant sun now winking,
Will cease to be suspended in the void of space, a-twinkling.
For my fellows grow drunk, the thrill of power blows their minds,
And will blow their planet, exploding the Earth and sun I left behind.
- I -
Iíve watched this shameful vision once before when fleeing from my wartorn world,
And traversing time I watch once more the vast explosion by which I was hurled,
Through time, when my sun turned supernova in the night.
That sad explosion flung my ship far past the speed of light,
To where these unknowing alien eyes will see a supernova,
Never realising it signals that the reign of man is over.
Here midst all the moonbeams high, the peace-hopes of my kin are shattered;
I watch the end of my sun draw nigh and see Earthís debris scattered.
And while I idly watch the scene, open doorways in my mind,
Let in all the million thoughts Iíd hoped to leave behind;
All the long dead ghosts return from my past to haunt me,
While far away an exploding sun sends painful memories to taunt me.