Poetry – Speed Kills

Speed Kills

We are an incredibly violent species. The number of ways we have devised to harness explosive force, gravity and friction to impact on flesh in unpleasant ways is truly amazing.

We are devious and imaginative.

Some are faster than sound. You could not hear it coming, let alone react. You might just glimpse a flash.

Some are slow enough to contemplate as they tumble towards you. Most you do not even know were on their way.

The deadliest of all is microscopic.

The day will come when we are breathe the latest mutant, sneeze and have time to contemplate our future as a layer in the rocks.

Wouldn’t it be better if we put all that ingenuity into solving problems instead of expending it as fear and hatred?

For all our cruise missiles, H-Bombs and bullets, there is not a single effective anti-viral drug. Have we got our priorities right?

Speed Kills

2,600 feet per second

Can be the speed of death –

As a bullet flies.

Twice the speed, you’d need,

To hear it coming.

733 feet per second

Is slow enough to hear

The missile come,

As it is guided down the street

To land at your feet.

At 32.2 feet per second per second

You can watch a barrel-bomb drop

And slowly spin in slow motion;

Hear it whistle its tune,

Before it delivers its load

And your world explodes.

At 2500 feet per second

A shell has already

Blasted people to fragments

Before its shriek arrives –

No surprise.

At 329 feet per second

An arrow is slow.

Slow enough to watch?

Slow enough to duck?

You’d need a little luck.

At 146 feet per second

A sneeze is the slowest of all –

Apart from the soft lunge of a knife,

Or the long wait of starvation,

But in the end

Will prove the most effective

At removing a species that has proved itself defective.

Opher 29.5.2016

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