Bursting Balloons in a Sandbox



The work is painstaking, careful.
Each balloon is buried deep like a felled
Ozymandias, or sleeping monster
laid to rest in a glass-cased desert,

then burst with the force of a volcano,
methane explosion or nuclear bomb:
grit blast, mushroom cloud, typhoon.
Slow motion softens this sand geyser

to the grace of an upwards waterfall,
falling back, wracked. All that’s left –
a crater, and its science. Sound data;
interpretation raises the questions.

Miles away from sandbox safety,
scientist-politicians promote
the unbelievable wealth of possibility
offered by their harmless fracking.


Sarah James
This poem was originally inspired by an article in New Scientist,
reinterpreted with an eye to possible environmental implications.

Pic: Claire Palmer




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