The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain

A Poem by Devons
"

Ode to cancer

"


A chain-gang colony of headstones
stand row-upon-row, back-to-back
clone graves with only one meaning
despite the pretence of uniqueness
and endless variations of Rest In Peace
from biblical scripts of solemnity
to platitudes painfully simple:
    Long illness, Love sundered
    A heart in safe-keeping
    Dearly missed, aged a hundred
    Age zero: Born sleeping

I am meaninglessness to all this
cannot comprehend, only think that I feel
through the faint charm of lines left behind
a facade persuaded by loneliness
I am small to think it affects me at all
it's falsely pathetic, shiny sincerity
I witness, observe, no more than objective
in an idyll of tragical, distilled affection
cold, empty, hard, as hell-like cement
then crooked in weeds from intended perfection:
this dereliction is the final lament


All begins in gestation, accidental formation
random organisation, organic design
brainless creation in fragmented snatches
automatic selection, recognition of shapes
amoebic detection, collation nucleic
evolution through mutation, discovering life
destructive construction on snake-wrapped foundations
    born like a tumour from a growth in a cell
    a virus in a virus that feeds on disease
    an immaculate miracle spat out of hell:
    the strain of Andromeda bubbles and seethes


Information overload: Code 601
malfunction, crash, and then stop
this cancerous fire is now burning the wires
in perpetual survival, it's eating itself
the surgeon's knife melts in its catalytic acid
the system's selected to auto-destruct
the only way out is now radioactive
    it's ironic a time-bomb's our final resort
    but one last message we at least can transmit:
    Mankind can be saved from this natural sport
    ....The Andromeda Strain  will destroy it.



© 2015 Devons



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Author's Note

Devons
Partly inspired by the film The Andromeda Strain (1971)

My Review

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Featured Review

Hi Devon,

I see this has already been reviewed by my good friend Emma. And she did a nice job in her review. But I want to add some personal comments, because this poem hits home in a number of ways. For me, I think it is the accident of it all. And we as humans have a strong aversion, I think, to having things happen by accident. We always look for reasons. As a physicist, I have learned, and taken to heart, Heisenberg's admonition: Don't try to understand and explain it. It can't be understood. Just write down what you see.

And this is so true, I think, of all aspects of life. Look at all the different creatures. All so different in many ways, yet, of course, related through the evolving nature of life. But we are all formed by accident. 75,000 years ago a super volcano wiped out all of mankind outside of southern India and Africa, and from this greatly reduced population arose all of the rest of the world's people. Great diversity was lost in the process, and we where honed further into what we are today. This, of course, was only a tiny ripple on the evolutionary landscape. It does not compare with the 26 mass extinctions in the last 850 million years. Just hit the Earth with a big enough rock and you send everything in a different direction evolutionarily. And, of course, our day-to-day lives are just as influenced by chance. Will we get run over by a car. Will we be hit by lightening (rare, but it happens). Yes, why does this happen? We want to know.

A very interesting musing, Devons.

My best regards,

Rick

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Devons

2 Years Ago

A profound review of the subject and meat of this poem. I am indulged to read it. Thank you very muc.. read more



Reviews

Speaks of a gripping tale, fascinating till the last word. Great sci-fi poetry is a rarity, this was thoroughly enjoyable. Though this was essentially tragic, there's a kind of relief, a sigh it provokes when one blinks into reality to see what horror we've been spared. Couldn't help but admire the rhythm and style in the third stanza. When 'immaculate miracle' and 'spat out of hell' together describe it, it's bound to be the worst nightmare. The mystery of the countless graves in the first stanza is then revealed with the final stanza, all pieces to the puzzle skilfully returned. Amazingly entertaining.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Devons

2 Years Ago

What a beautiful review. And it shows that you actually read it properly. Why can't everyone be like.. read more
This is a very interesting write.I am not really familiar with The Andromeda Strain but this is what i thought when i read your piece. Sometimes in our quest of finding answer to mankind's mysteries, we focus on complicated theories and in the process, the more information we get, the more confused we become.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Devons

2 Years Ago

Indeed, thank you. The meaning of life perhaps is that there is no meaning. Yet the human mind -able.. read more
Cool effing write. That second stanza in particular got me thinking. I believe there is a lot of phoniness (sp?) in the way people feel about death and tragedy. One of the things that we are directed by society to feel a certain way about things and then the sincerity never questioned because that is in bad taste. Not that you have bad taste...lol. I don't think that there are many individuals if any who can put other above self in thought anyway. It all boils down to what does this do to me, missing sure, wanting sure, but that is still self wanting for self. Oh hell, I don't know maybe that's a shallow view of it. Intriguing, inspiring and very thought provoking my good man. (we invent conventions to soothe the self...?)

Posted 2 Years Ago


Devons

2 Years Ago

Thanking you fully, my brother-in-arms. You're right about soothing the self - damn right - and I do.. read more
Hi Devon,

I see this has already been reviewed by my good friend Emma. And she did a nice job in her review. But I want to add some personal comments, because this poem hits home in a number of ways. For me, I think it is the accident of it all. And we as humans have a strong aversion, I think, to having things happen by accident. We always look for reasons. As a physicist, I have learned, and taken to heart, Heisenberg's admonition: Don't try to understand and explain it. It can't be understood. Just write down what you see.

And this is so true, I think, of all aspects of life. Look at all the different creatures. All so different in many ways, yet, of course, related through the evolving nature of life. But we are all formed by accident. 75,000 years ago a super volcano wiped out all of mankind outside of southern India and Africa, and from this greatly reduced population arose all of the rest of the world's people. Great diversity was lost in the process, and we where honed further into what we are today. This, of course, was only a tiny ripple on the evolutionary landscape. It does not compare with the 26 mass extinctions in the last 850 million years. Just hit the Earth with a big enough rock and you send everything in a different direction evolutionarily. And, of course, our day-to-day lives are just as influenced by chance. Will we get run over by a car. Will we be hit by lightening (rare, but it happens). Yes, why does this happen? We want to know.

A very interesting musing, Devons.

My best regards,

Rick

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Devons

2 Years Ago

A profound review of the subject and meat of this poem. I am indulged to read it. Thank you very muc.. read more
'.. an immaculate miracle spat out of hell: - - - the strain of Andromeda bubbles and seethes.. '

What we feel is ultimately what we become, perhaps. Belief in the good book, believe in the hefty tomes that tell what science is or decrees, a rubbing of shoulders with doubting Thomas or he who rules the world because he has a knighthood.

Your words reach deep and deeper into the mind, challenging thought, challenging this reader to maybe turn back to the Strain, count rosary beads, throw salt over the shoulder. Or read again and learn how skilfully your words present thought, belief or/and truth.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Devons

2 Years Ago

Thank you for so worthily christening this poem, Emma. It's nice to read and be read by you again.

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Added on June 13, 2015
Last Updated on July 27, 2015
Tags: science fiction, cancer, The Andromeda Strain

Author

Devons
Devons

South West, United Kingdom



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