The Future of the Appalachians (Poem-A-Day 10)


Tonight I attended a talk entitled “The Southern Appalachian Mountains: Younger Than We Thought” at the Science Cafe in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. After the talk, two of my fellow poets and I wrote poems which we read to the audience. The talk was also streamed live! You should watch it all but if you want to skip to the poetry, advance the video to the 61st minute.

Having read Poetic Asides earlier in the day, I was able to kill two proverbial prompts with one poem.


For today’s prompt, write a future poem. The future might mean robots and computer chips. The future might mean apocalyptic catastrophes. The future might mean peace and understanding. The future might mean 1,000 years into the future; it might mean tomorrow (or next month). I forecast several poems in the near future to be shared below.

The Future of the Appalachians

Imagine the future
Long after your descendants
Have dug burrows in the earth
Or flung themselves to the stars

The Appalachians will not miss you
They do not care
That we plumbed their secrets
They will endure
While waterfalls nick the rock
Stripped and exposed
To vicious winds and relentless rain

The earth pushes back
But the water will win
And the mountains
Will finally wear down
To mere knobs
Or prosaic flatlands

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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