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(W.B. Yeats contemplates biotechnology)

The Threatened Cloning

Twisting and twining in the unraveled skein
The thymine cannot find the cytosine
Genes pull apart; the fibre will not coil
Sheer entropy infects the ordered pool
The bloodline is confused, and all around
The line-dance of the chromosomes goes wrong
The worst is science fiction, while the best
Is pharmaceutical monopoly.

Surely some aberration is at hand.
Surely the Threatened Cloning is at hand.
The Threatened Cloning! Soon as I coin the phrase
A doctored photo from the Weekly World News
Muddles my thought: perched in a rack full of tabloids
A shape with human body and the head of a lamb
That stares back, though pickled inside a jar,
Deluding the mass mind, while all around it
Pose models with their insolent navels bared.
I try to look away; still I have seen
How seven million years’ genetic drift
Might change to chaos in some incubator;
Now what life-form, already past recall,
Stumbles toward Seoul, Korea to be born?

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All contents © Copyright 2004 Tom Chalkley (Baltimore, Maryland)
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