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Future of the Badlands

Every wind that blows and each drop of rain that falls removes some fragment of rock and deposits it in a new location. Each spring freshet, each cloudburst, each stream and its tributaries cause a change in the landscape. In time, the rugged pinnacles will be come grass-covered mounds, the fossils will become scattered, unintelligible fragments, and the badlands will have vanished. In time to come, a new earth convulsion may rejuvenate the streams and a new badlands sediment may be deposited in which man could well be the chief fossil. Paleontologists of millenniums hence may ponder over the characteristics of the primates of, say, the 30th century.

There rolls the deep where grew the tree.
O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea.

The hills are shadows, and they flow
From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands,
Like clouds they shape themselves and go.


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Last Modified: Sat, Nov 4 2006 10:00:00 pm PST

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