Scientific Poetry
A Sleeping Giant


I am a compressed gas cylinder.  I weigh in at 175 pounds when filled.
I am pressurized at 2,200 pounds per square inch (psi).
I have a wall thickness of about 1/4 inch.
I stand 57 inches tall.
I am 9 inches in diameter.
I wear a cap when not in use.
I wear valves, gauges, and hoses when at work.
I wear many colors and bands to tell what tasks I perform.
I transform miscellaneous stacks of material into glistening ships and many other things when properly used.
I transform glistening ships and many other things into miscellaneous stacks of material when allowed to unleash my fury unchecked.
I am ruthless and deadly in the hands of the careless or uninformed.
I am too frequently left standing alone on my small base, my cap removed and lost by an unthinking workman. 

Then I am ready to be toppled over, my naked valve can be snapped off and all of my power can be unleashed through an opening no larger than a lead pencil.
I am proud of my capabilities–here are a few of them:
I have been known to jet away faster than any dragster.
I smash my way through brick walls with the greatest of ease.
I fly through the air and reach distances of half-a-mile or more.
I spin, ricochet, crash, and slash through anything in my path.
I scoff at the puny efforts of human flesh, bone, and muscle to change my erratic course.
I can, under certain conditions, rupture or explode–you read of these exploits in the newspapers.
You can be my master only under my terms:
Full or empty, see to it that my cap is on, straight and snug.
Never–repeat–Never leave me standing alone.  Keep me in a secure rack or tie me so that I cannot fall.

Treat me with respect – I am a Sleeping Giant


-Marshal Peterson A.M.A.

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