“We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking
if mankind is to survive” ~ Albert Einstein


With his son – now his world – a man
pushes a shopping cart before him. It’s
nearly empty; they are traveling light
with little to carry and even less to eat.
Anguish and fatigue score their faces.
Around them the land is blasted. There
are only scattered bands of humans left,
picking over charred remnants of a once-
abundant world. Just to stay alive, many
of the survivors are engaged in horrific
acts. We aren’t told by the storyteller
or by the film director what led to this
point. After Doomsday, what does a
man with a son, love and one bullet do?


The Kepler telescope has located more
than 1000 planets in habitable zones
around their suns. There’s only Earth.
The Doomsday Clock reads five minutes
‘til midnight due to rising nuclear tensions
and global warming. There are enough
nuclear weapons to turn Earth to cinder.
Earth is warming rapidly; soon we will
cross the point where warming cannot be
reversed. Our atmosphere now contains
392 parts per million CO2; if we are to
survive, we need a return to 350 / lower.
Before Doomsday, what do we do with
our children, love & five more minutes?

Andrew Shattuck McBride
April 15, 2012

About Andrew Shattuck McBride

I am a writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant. I work in a variety of genres, including poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. I also have a couple of novels simmering on back burners. THANK YOU to Nan Macy of Village Books for taking this photo (June 2011).
This entry was posted in Activism, Andrew Shattuck McBride Writer, Authors, Books, Books Authors and Book Reviews, Can We Talk?, NaPoWriMo ~ 2012, Samples, The Quotidian, Transformation. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Doomsday

  1. My first stanza is inspired by the novel and film The Road ~ Cormac McCarthy’s searing post-apocalyptic vision. It is unforgettable. I highly recommend the novel and the movie. Read / watch these during daylight hours!

    I used Robert Lee Brewer’s Day 14 prompt “Write a Doomsday Poem.”

    Here’s the link:

    Yes, this is my NaPoWriMo Day 15 poem; I’m in rebellion!

  2. Here’s a blogpost I wrote after reading The Road and watching the movie:

    Now, can we talk?

    All the best, Andy

  3. Andy, I like the parallelisms and echoes between the two sections. Chilling, with a tiny note of maybe-hope.

  4. Jennifer, thank you.
    I think that’s why I wrote the blog post “The Road – Dystopian Novel, Movie and Love Story” back during the summer of 2010. The novel and movie were so bleak and unflinching, I had to write a response. Perhaps Cormac McCarthy wrote out of love. His vision could be for us to wake up – before it’s too late.
    Thanks again,
    and blessings to you and your family. Andy

  5. Jennifer, I like the ending of the second stanza and how it echoes the first. However,
    the rest of that stanza seems heavy handed. Lots more work to do! Andy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s