• elliedurkin

The Prologue Poem

Or, Gordon The Creator.


I started out writing a short story of how the Squashed Forest was created, and it accidentally became a poem that was much longer than planned. It seems fitting to add it as the first proper blog post. I did start doing an illustrated version but I really don't have time to finish it at the moment, so I've just included the first couple of images for now.

Enjoy!





This is Gordon, the mountain ape

He formed a roughly human shape

Not that he knows what humans are

Men do not stray on planets far

As this one is, where Gord resides

Along with tribe and several brides

The peak was cold as ice by night

And colder with the rising light

But tribe was hairy, furry, dense

From harsh air they needed no defence

They lived in a relatively comfortable way

Not knowing it would end one day



It started with rumbles and building heat

The rock felt warm beneath their feet

When snow and ice were melting fast

The apes thought each breath might be their last

Then the mountain cracked and shook

The tribe, each others hands they took

And strode across hot moving ground

As lava flowed and magma found

It’s way under the crumbling earth

The tribe fled down from mountain hearth

Until the rock had levelled out

Extinction cheated, but whereabouts

They found themselves they did not know

This flatter ground was foreign, so

Tribe started walking towards the sun

Two by two and one by one

Gordon followed the trailing horde

But without destination he quickly grew bored


Somewhere down the line, and many moons later

Where forested land drew across the equator

And the tallest of trees barely grazed the shins

Of even the smallest homi-sapiens

It was only here that they realised how large they had grown

Up high on that mountain they never had known

The giants they were, now their heads neared the cloud

The biggest eloped through the vaporous shroud

But shorter folk noticed the forest be crushed

Down under their toes as they strode through the dust

So tribe took the least dense, least coniferous path

To lessen destruction and reduce aftermath

For mostly they were a considerate breed

Gordon however chose not to concede


He saw that the ground in some parts was more boggy

Away from the group the land was quite soggy

He thought “how fun it must feel on the toes,

As squelching between all the digits it goes”

The urge to stand in the mud grew

“I have to try it” Gordon knew

And so, when he saw none were watching

He ventured sideways, slowly launching

His foot into the foggy air

And swiftly brought it down, just where

A clump of forest innocently sat

Not knowing it would be pounded flat

The foot came down, intent to spoil

Succeeding as it crushed the soil

And trees they snapped and folded and cracked

As the world around began to compact


The beasts with wings, the bats and birds

Were able to escape unhurt

And creatures blind that lived by touch

Had long eluded vibrations such

But slower critters, plants and fungi

Saw darkness descend from the sky

And down they went, til earth would be

Level with Gordon’s hairy knee

For just a moment he was stuck

His toes sucked in the squishy muck

Then with a heave he plucked the appendage

Out of the ground and over the ridge

He almost nearly lost his balance

Being so destructive and callous


The guilt inside began to creep

He never expected to go so deep

And as he looked down in the hole

He’d made with his enormous sole

He saw the mangled, squashed remains

And pondered if he’d caused much pain

But the feeling lasted just a second

For then he heard his tribe, they beckoned

“Gordon, get back to the line,

You don’t want to be left behind!”

And so he chose to stray no further

And gave no other thought or fervor

To the tiny sunken forest lives

He simply went back to his wives


The tribe continued walking south

Through dry deserts and ocean mouth

Until eventually they saw

A quiet beach, a lonely shore

With palm trees bountiful and tall

For long they had not felt this small

So unanimously tribe decided

To their new habitat they’d been guided

Gordon lay down on the soft, warm land

And watched his brides dance in the sand

He knew the whole tribe were as content

As he was then, and did not resent

The molten rock that took their home

The mountains that they used to roam

And as sun set on new landscapes

The tribe were happy, hopeful apes


Yet far away, in footstep trod

Where Gordon was creator, God

The forest slumbered in the void

Squashed it was, but not destroyed

For over time the trees returned

Things evolved, they grew and learned

How to survive down in the dirt

Life there was no more inert

And long after Gord and tribe were gone

The Squashed Forest flourished and life went on

But those stories are for another time

Another tale, a different rhyme


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