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Phlogiston Land

Centuries ago a torch
Was raised up on a mountain,
Tended to so that the world
Would recognize a climbing.

Chemistry assumed a man
Could study over fire
Processes of elements
From resting state to purer.

What did the earth surrender?
Did fire free the substance?
Did metal turn to essence?
What left? And what was left?

Phlogiston Land, Phlogiston Land,
The torch above a country,
A symbol of a symbol,
A glove without a hand.

Principles fade out in smoke,
The torch was left untended,
Oxygen blew out the proof
Of those who climbed too early.

Politics assumed a man
Will shuffle under fire.
Leisure is as leisure does,
We dance around the ashes.

What did the crowd surrender?
Did safety free the substance?
Did struggle turn to essence?
What left? And what was left?

Phlogiston Land, Phlogiston Land,
The ashes of a country,
An emblem of an emblem,
A ring without a band.



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2006 Michael Menche  All Rights Reserved