I felt the enormous strain on the earth’s skin
Tighter and tighter the taut vulcano’s drum…
I knew the mountain’s surface was getting thin.
When would its explosion begin to whimper, to hum ?
How long before the magma, the whole shebang
Might collapse as then, in terrible years of yore ?
From across the bay I’d also feel the whang
And wham and slam and shout and awful roar…
No, mankind can not take very much real.
Imagination falters before those Gates of Hell
Yet pressure mounts; our instruments work well.
How facile are words ; our film unwinds, each reel
Shows blue-white fires, caverns , the molten smell,
Last cries of burning pain, our rush pell-mell.