Dunedin based but Central Otago born, David Schaumann is a poet, English teacher, educationalist and member of ‘The Ink Pot Collective’. He has recently rediscovered a love of writing, squeezing bursts of poetry among the hurlyburly of the everyday.
The Day the asteroid fell
When the asteroid slammed into the classroom
it struck with such solemn shock, the dazed
faces of the not-yet-men became boyish,
in need of mothers.
They were to be wallowing in make-believe
deaths, delighting in the pathos, rich catharsis
of last breaths gasped through poignant farewells
as Shakespeare’s hero fell, tragically.
But the weight and mass, the other-worldly
darkness of its glow reflected in the boys’
faces and gave pause to Othello – this was no
time for the putting out of lights,
especially given the stark-eyed-fact –
grim and gritty as ash and dust:
three of the boys were pinned
entirely beneath its weight, baffled.
A physics teacher would discuss
the power of unstoppable forces and
immovable objects; a mathematician calculate
the slim odds of this ever happening again.
All he could think of to try to help
was to tell them a story of Atlas’s futile
chore, draw its picture on the whiteboard
and explain how some would have to
bear all of this crushing weight,
whilst others, standing
at the outer edges, wince,
recoil from their classmates’ burden.