17 February 2015

From the Future

I found your newspaper the other day—
the one where you imagined a future
free of violence and war—you called it
“The Daily Empowerer.”  I like that!

Things haven’t worked out as well as you wished.

Have you read Nineteen-Eighty-Four? (I write
out numbers as political protest!) 
(They’re too long to tattoo that way—and tatts
are now  legal identification.) 

(I’m going to imagine you just gasped—
yes, it is very Nazi just like chains
and collars from your time were very S
and M.  You know, right?  Violent and proud.
Don’t get me started!  We are harder to
counterfeit, but easier to enslave.)

Peace teams.  That’s what I liked best about your
imaginary future—how they were
everywhere to heal erosion and dig
fresh water wells and restock wildlife—
a wonderful vision.  Well, teams are out
and about to claim and protect beauty—
what little of it remains—for the one
percent of the population that owns
the rest.  The uninvited are shot dead
on the spot.  No questions asked.  No answers.

I’ll spare you the rest except to thank you
for your vision.  I’m copying it out
on the inside of our stiff uniform
pants. That’s where we keep beauty these days when
tatts cover our skins with legal docs and
permits, leaving only private
parts for memories of flowers.  We use
indelible inks derived from road tar
and blood.  Our repairers of buttons, snaps
and hems act as go-betweens and make sure
only trustworthy workers read your lines.

You remind us of hope and living things.
Empowerment Now is a secret faith
and a rallying cry from a prophet.

We hoard found seeds and plant them in your name.

I believe we have three  hidden gardens
over sacred wells from your good old days.




at dVerse poets Pub.

Note: In another mood, on another day, I wrote a very different vision
for dVerse Poets Pub called "Coming Home." 


Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast



22 comments:

Grace said...

I wish things were brighter and filled with peace rather keeping things hidden out of sight for fear of being shot ~ Those hidden gardens are sacred indeed ~

“The Daily Empowerer.” I like that! - me too ~ Thanks for a thought provoking response Susan ~

KB said...

An interesting take on the prompt Susan. >KB

KB said...

Intersting take on perspective Susan. >KB

Brian Miller said...

harder to counterfeit, but easier to enslave --- what a dystopian future you see
sad to think all the effort of this time goes to waste...perhaps we were too late to turn
the ship...though that religeon of the future sounds interesting.

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

Those last three lines did me in - such a convincing voice of your future world - loved the ideas of the tattooed docs -very cool!

kanzensakura.com said...

three secret gardens.....a bitter future for us indeed.

Anthony Desmond said...

seems like a life shrouded in fear... shot dead with no questions asked? a bit of that going on today actually... but the idea of tattoo documents is cool... what if you need to change something tho? a cover-up tat for a change of info? smiles....

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness. I think this vision scares me more than any of the others. Brilliant idea, that bodies would be covered with tattoos for legal purposes. Yoiks. You rocked it, Susan! Now I need to read Coming Home as an anti-dote!

Gabriella said...

You wrote such a visual poem that I could see how your vision of future could be used in a dystopian movie. I did not like tattoos, now I like them even less.

Mary said...

Whew, this is a very bleak future. Hope it does not come to pass in this way.

Claudia said...

oh heck... at least they have those secret gardens and a bit of life left... so not everything's as hopeless as it seems first...

Björn Rudberg said...

The tattoos a prison camps - and a secret hope of just a few collected seeds.. Despite the sorrowful future there seems to a sliver of hope..of resistance.

Prajakta said...

Susan, take a bow! Interesting and a slightly scary perspective. I love the idea of the Daily Empowerer :)

Marina Sofia said...

I like the fact that in all that hopelessness and grimness, there is still some resistance and some desire to plant seeds... Scary vision of the future - will have to check out the other alternative now...

Sumana Roy said...

our future selves will definitely sustain on the last six lines Susan...great lines...

Wolfsrosebud said...

true peace will come in the end, but not by man... nice take on the prompt

Myrna R. said...

Nice that you note how hard it is to kill the human spirit. The future you depict is frightening though.

Kate Mia said...

Empowerment NOW! truly the greatest secret and often the hardest one for all prophets to share NOW.. NOW.. NOW tHere is NO TIME onLY NOW!.. when scratches in sand copying angles in sky become letters.. words.. histories for then and hopes for future.. NOW is often forgotten and human tools of clicking hands become illusory reality in then and later.....

NOW IS GOD

such as simple answer to the illusion of time...

And so much harder to maim and kill other folks with other illusions of form in letters in language over now than time...

Truedessa said...

A scary time, but the secret gardens bring hope along with a prophet who might change events.

sreeja harikrishnan said...

Susan everytime you surprise me with such unique thoughts.....it is really scary.....hats off to you...

mishunderstood said...

Very scary situations to imagine...but you did it so well here.

mishunderstood said...

Very scary thoughts to imagine....but you have done it so well here.