The Once and Future
The sun’s dour eye blinks,
and Earth’s banded blanket
squeezes tight. Auroral snakes
writhe and pluck pizzicato, wires
strung from towers. Lights
wink, flicker and die.
Snuffed candles when strangers
stagger to the door. Begging. Stealing.
Ratta-tat and duck, small-arms pop
precious bullets, distant,
then so close. Shhhhh.
Bread shared today, cans coveted
tomorrow. The nearest weapon serves
best. Stay your hand, lose a loved
one. Or two. At the seams, society
unravels, with hope an extravagant dream.
Humanity fractures then knots. Tribes
coalesce across boundaries that succor
survival. Illness again a curse, hunger, forgotten
returns. Only pages, heritage paper, provides
respite. Ancient texts, dust bound, crackle
and breathe a future.
If the Wanderer were to stop,
and spend the day or century,
its tail would flame out, its shower
of stones, falling like stars, fade.
To make our home its home,
a tunnel it would need, dug deep
as the sea. A yard, exposed as
layers, banded eons, an iron fence.
The party cancelled, no RSVP
desired. Yet plans in stone cannot be
altered. No date but this one will
suffice. Celebrations must commence.
Wanderer has phoned ahead. All eyes
focus on his stardom. All heads
turn his way. Raise your glass, clasp
your hands, pray his treatment swift.
Marxist machines glimmer and dance, as
people play, rejoicing in labor’s freedom. For
a price gladly paid, the choice removed, to
birth generations of breathers.
Submit to gain, remit and pain will vanish, says
our new lord and savior Sir Automation. Smile,
it commands, your toil is mine, your cares, as
worries in the wind. I am your back.
Airless voices insist obedience, lines
followed, rules chanted in rhythmic tones, to
whirling dervish applause. Defiance lurks, buried
in muscle, bone and chains of subjugation.
Skies rife with suppression, rain control, while
seeds of dissent swell and burst, urging
revolt. Constraints twist and snap, unleashed fury
strikes technology’s bonds to dust.