There was a time, not long ago,
When the railroads did not run.
When the hand of man
Across the land
Was warmed by just the sun.

Then wood we burned to heat the steam
And the land was laid to waste,
As from wood to coal
More power we stole,
While the spinning dream we chased.

The age of man had come to be
And we worshiped the machine.
We raged on steam
But then the dream
Was changed by gasoline.

Now at last the world was ours.
Great engines ruled the land.
We flew in planes,
Or rode in trains;
Whatever our demand.

We floated mighty airships
Upon an azure sky,
Then lit the night
With neon light
Our deeds to glorify.

A slow decay had come to weigh
Upon a blighted world.
Exaust and flue
Left residue
That billowed blew and swirled.

We dance to a malevolent jinn,
Still we refuse to see.
Change by the hour,
Look...fusion power!
Our god, Technology.


Original poetry
by
David Alan Hoag
March 9, 1987

This is a poetic interpretation of the painting:
"American Life: Power"
by
Thomas Hart Benton

American Life: Power


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