Prompt 20 wants us to use five words from a long list. I ended up with a steampunk poem and a story seed. This happens sometimes when I write poetry when I’m in fiction mode. I end up with something that’s more story than poem. And sometimes the reverse happens.   

The copper owl went quiet when her generator failed

She was tucked into a trunk when her gears stopped moving

Left behind for her weight, despite the coos and the smiles she had given

Despite her loyalty

None of the heirophants noticed her death

They had already left

They had already fled

Far upwind, their airships floated

Above the revolution

Above the smog

They could not bring themselves to admit that they had caused this thing

But they left their estates behind as the city burned

Made a fabulous trend of the whole affair as the city churned

They squandered their coin in a floating castle

Spending gold like lives and lives like gold

They lived in luxury amidst the clouds

Having managed to elevate themselves above the unsavory turmoil below

they

-the gentility-

smoked clove cigarettes

while their gardens turned to dust

They sat cast in velvet and lace and ate soft cheese

As the owl began to rust

They played parlor games and held a masked ball

Laughed at the cowbird outside their windows

They ate truffles while the paupers starved

And as they floated off into the night

They spoke of the miracles they had seen that summer

In the wondrous greenhouse of Doctor Dunderhead

They recalled the cyclops (he sang of fallen suns)

Willowy plants with the faces of pale girls

Vials with mercurial elixirs

Far below this gilded splendor

The urchins ate seaweed soup in the gutter

Pretended not to hear the artillery

As cannons broke the city walls

They salted their meat

Knowing they would soon be short

Gunsmoke curled up over the turrets

But did not quite reach the ego of the fleeing airship

Twice, the owl tried to revive

Twice, she fell into darkness

The city grew pale and thin

The city grew rage in the shadows

The owl, once loved, then left behind

Began to rust

Became a ghost

 

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