Posted November 13, 2017.

2017 Fall Contest Winner: 1st Place, Theme–Current Events

Another Perspective on the Nuclear Codes


Imagine looking down

from the space station

as the blue-green earth turns beneath

and the mushrooms bloom silently

along the Florida panhandle,

the ox head shape of France,

the teardrop of Africa;

bloom like gray mums along the Nev,

follow the Rhine (obliterate the Rhine),

rise silently from China’s belly;

spread like a dread fungus

and you watch through the portal

and you breathe the air bubble

that is all that’s left you.


Judge’s comments

We live in tumultuous times, and the poems entered in the Current Events category certainly reflect that. There were so many fine poems that judging was a delight. “Another Perspective on the Nuclear Codes” is a haunting imagining of the world’s end told in breathtaking language. I can’t imagine a more beautiful poem. Reading each line was like opening a gift.


Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep concern for our planet’s future. She has three decades of published poetry, four poetry chapbooks, and a full-length poetry book, Elegy for the 21st Century (FutureCycle Press). A deindustrial science fiction novel, Lifeline, was just released by Founders House Publishing. Find her at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.