More Steampunk

Workers by hand and brain

At first they dug with picks, and then the great
steam drills were made. The navvies, who had carved
their way through living rock, sickened or starved
or died of bends. The bubbles percolate

to heart or brain; you die. Not soon enough,
The engineers and stokers died as well.
They might as well have tunnelled into Hell.
The bubbles came for them. Not only rough

workers by hand die at those depths; the brains
of scientists who tried to work out why
exploded too. They came back, saw the sky
and felt the pangs of death. These days the trains

are pressurized. Unharmed we make our way
from London to New York in just one day.

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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4 Responses to More Steampunk

  1. ffutures says:

    That’s wonderful.

  2. andrewhickey says:

    That’s really, *REALLY* good…

  3. Anonymous says:

    More Steampunk

    Good as usual, natch. But for once I have a scansion thought. There’s a lot of enjambment here, and I would be tempted to simultaneously emphasize/bludgeonly undercut it at one point, which would also dislodge the scansion for a quick snack. I would render the second/third para break this way, if I were writing good stuff like this, I mean stuff good enough to act like Yeats acted with every line he wrote:

    The bubbles came for them. Not only rough

    hand workers die at those depths; the brains
    of scientists who

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