(Tunguska Event: “The Tunguska event was an enormously powerful explosion that occurred near [and later struck] the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, at about 7:14 am. KRAT [00:14 UT] on June 30, 1908.” from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event)
What happened in Tunguska over century ago,
Could happen anywhere on earth, and deal a mortal blow.
An asteroid or comet that exploded near the ground
Could devastate an area for hundreds miles around.
Eyewitnesses reported streak of fire in the sky.
They heard a boom, then shortly afterward all went awry.
A “second sun” ignited trees and shattered window glass
With wind that flattened forests from a megatonic blast.
In land so sparse of people, hardly anyone observed
Event that could presage a candidate to end the world.
For if an asteroid much larger ever struck again,
There’d be no one to testify to what or where or when.
The local news recorded the event in June ‘08
As “thumps horrific,” “cannon fire,” not unlike a quake.
Yet none investigated in a place so far removed
For baker’s dozen years, until the Russians felt behooved.
Still memories of locals seemed to barely have been dimmed –
Considered site “off limits,” even outskirts rarely skimmed.
Akin to pyro-cataclysm of volcanic ilk,
Except exploding downward – upright trees at center killed.
Debate continues whether asteroid or comet burst –
Seems physics favors second, but the evidence the first.
But should it strike Toronto, Moscow, London or O’Hare
Destroying tens of millions, what of details will we care?
TUNGUSKA + 105
(Cosmic Coincidence: Russian Meteor, Asteroid Near-Miss on Same Day, Friday’s Two Events Unrelated, by Jason Koebler, February 15, 2013. from http://www.us news.com/news/articles/2013/02/15/cosmic-coinci dence-russian-meteor-asteroid-near-miss-on-same-day. “A meteorite contrail is seen over a village of Bolshoe Sidelnikovo [within] 50 km of Chelyabinsk, Russia, on Friday … In a cosmic coincidence, the Russian meteorite that has reportedly injured more than 1,000 people is completely unrelated to the DA14 asteroid, which NASA says will pass closer to Earth than communications satellites later Friday. The DA14 asteroid, which is 150 feet in diameter, is expected to fly within 17,200 miles of earth at about 2:25 p.m. EST Friday. According to NASA, the asteroid will pass ‘well away from Earth’ … According to officials there, more than 1,000 people sought medical attention due to cuts from shattered glass … According to NASA, the two events are entirely unrelated.”)
“Cosmic coincidence,” scientists say,
“Kismet that asteroid passed by our way.”
Meanwhile in Russia a thousand were struck.
Just Act of Providence? Really bad luck?
I find it hard to dissociate both.
What are the odds when a “big one” comes close
That some “collateral damage” occurs?
Scientists making excuses absurd?
Seems Chelyabinsk, as Tunguska in past,
Happened to be near a meteor blast.
Is it surprising in Russian again?
Not if consider the land mass it’s in.
Most of these “hits” should occur out at sea
Where rarely witnessed. That’s no mystery.
But the minority striking the land
Likely occur at its widest expanse.
Should we expect yet another one soon?
Maybe dislodged if some piece struck the Moon?
Scientists certain again to intone,
“Cosmic coincidence, couldn’t have known.”
I am a Professional Engineer who has been writing poetry since 1990. I am an incorrigible rhymer, tending toward the skeptical/cynical regarding daily life. I have been fortunate to have been published in poetry magazines and on-line journals such as NUTHOUSE, MOTHER EARTH INTERNATIONAL, FEELINGS/POETS’ PAPER, MÖBIUS (when Jean Hull Herman published), PABLO LENNIS, MUSE OF FIRE, SO YOUNG!, THE AARDVARK ADVENTURER, POETIC LICENSE, THUMBPRINTS, UNLIKELY STORIES, BIBLIOPHILOS, FULLOSIA PRESS, NOMAD’S CHOIR, HIDDEN OAK, PABLO LENNIS, POETSESPRESSO, SOUL FOUNTAIN, WRITER’S JOURNAL, ATLANTIC PACIFIC PRESS, DERONDA REVIEW, LYRIC, THE STORYTELLER, WRITE ON! and DANA LITERARY SOCIETY.