PETITION FOR A FLAT EARTH - poem by Hugh Cook



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Petition for a Flat Earth

My lords and ladies,
I am a poor man,
And a humble man.
My hand feeds myself,
Clothes myself,
Heals myself.
I know only one need
Beyond my own sustaining,
And so I make my petition:
Give us a flat earth.

Give us a flat earth
To preserve us from the lunacy
That would topple the seas of the earth,
Parapet upon parapet,
Into the gulf,
That would empty the seas to the burning.
Give us a flat earth
To preserve us from the lunacy
That would turn the world over,
Disembowel mountains
And set the sun falling
Edgeways across the sky.

Give us a flat earth.
A flat earth is every man's birthright.
A flat earth
With the seas walled in
Tight to the horizon
And the sun's timetable
As steadfast as the litany of the Church
And the rules of the Party.
Give us a flat earth,
A safe earth,
And a flat moon sailing in the sky.

My lords and ladies,
I know there are other voices
That are raised against mine -
Voices that are raised against mankind.
The new flesh,
Quick from the womb,
Does not understand the need
Of a planet bound to discipline -
That first breath would breathe poison
If it was not taught sanity.
That first thought would think nothing
Were it to overturn the century -
What do the newborn care?

Age and wisdom
Make the responsiblity ours.
We cannot stand and watch
Earth overturned
Entire as if by earthquake.
We cannot tolerate the dissent of those who sanction
The end of the world.
And so I make my petition:
Give us a flat earth.



Author's note: this poem was written back in the 1970s, I guess. I seem to remember this poem having gotten itself published in some student newspaper back in the 1970s, but I may be wrong about this.

Publication details: "Petition for a Flat Earth" was written back in the Twentieth Century but was first published when posted on the Internet on 2003 July 21. Copyright © 2003 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved. (Note: this poem may possibly have been published earlier, back in the 1970s, but, if so, the author has no record of the publication date.)

PETITION FOR A FLAT EARTH - poem by Hugh Cook





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