Moving Mountains, Burning Stars
Bryan Thao Worra
In Germany, the Krupps Bagger-288
Was forged to kill mountains,
Towering 96 meters and 13,500 tons,
Indifferent to poetic subtlety.
This isn’t the work of surgeons,
Cutting to a mountain’s coal heart,
Maybe an ancient vein of diamonds
Worthy of mortal beauties.
Watch it cross a road, and you might
Feel more minute than an old man gazing at
The summer mountains of Qu Ding.
Witness it raze some sprawling range,
Dare you feel like a deity, some peer of Vulcan
At his fire who needs no scenery of mere stones?
There are tiny men from Sydney and Beijing
Who smile to eagerly bring such tools
To the peaks of antique Luang Prabang,
Our groves of teak, our sacred caverns and isles.
In a small room in the cosmos, these fleas haggle.
One day, they might reach Mars or Alpha Centauri,
Long after our own foolish names are rightfully lost
Amid sputtering stars and cold galactic memory.