Informational Decay

I heard an echo in a hollow place.
No sound of blowing wind or drifting sand,
Some ancient voice was this, a captive trace
Of gone-by speech, of argument, demand,

Of plea or question, comfort or command.
Long years this message had remained unheard
In empty halls, in untenanted lands,
A letter lost, a homeless, wandering word.

I could not judge it solemn or absurd,
The language, one I’d never learned to speak.
Was it then call of beast or cry of bird
From whiskered mouth, or brightly colored beak?

No. No, this was human speech, now lost.
A warning wasted, at an unknown cost.

Tiel Aisha Ansari, Dec 27 2005

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Informational Decay