Less Than Infinity (October 12,1999)

Six billion.
Doubled in less than forty years.
Can you count a billion?
Nine zeros times 6
Means what?
Hands, fingers, stomachs, mouths
Six (6,000,000,000) billion
Elbows
Bracing one against the other
For whatever reasons
The Earth becomes cement
The sky ripped apart
The tiger, the hawk, the elephant
Die
Bones in a graveyard
Overgrown with weeds
Distended open-mouthed babies cry
Needlessly
Choking on air
Too thick to breathe.


(Previously published in The Hinterland, Spring 2000, Issue 1. Note: On Oct.12,1999, the world's population reached 6 billion.)

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Comments (1)

Will gradual westernisaton everywhere bring the explosion to a halt in time? The figures and trends presented so starkly are pretty frightening! We've all got to think about this stuff Laurence! Great poetry as per normal!