A History of Technology: Pyrotechnica

Flame and wind that night

Maybe even thousands of generations ago

When Neanderthals were just one team

Playing in an epoch-long March Madness

In which losing a round meant extinction

Look around: Homo sapiens took the crown


But that night also, the green stone was there

In the embers and the flames and the wind.

A happenstance that night

Of earth and air and fire

Acting out

In the transformative circumvention

Of chemistry and physics.

From malachite

In embers and flames and wind

A minuscule river of molten blood

That ensnared the eye of

Neal, a curious Neolithic Guy


A pyrotechnic moment

On the cusp of Ages

From Stone to Copper

Then Bronze, then Iron

Glass and ceramic, along the way

From different earths, these

The children of fire

Portents of boilers, of rail.

Of flight and of war

And of power and industry

Of a world made small

A pyrotechnic moment

And a curious Neolithic guy

Who seized a glimmer in his eye.

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