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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

pictures from the future

The picture is this week's Magpie Tales prompt.

I switched my printer on this morning
and it chuntered out
a stream of images
sent back from the future
by processes as yet not understood.

They show the Earth as striped
with bands of heat and cold,
the sky is likewise barred
with streaks of black and gold.
These are not merely tints
but particles.
Sky, air, cloud: all that we know
as insubstantial,
bodiless
seem concrete to the core.

Stripes cut across
the furnishings of landscape:
trees are slashed with ice,
long icicles and fire;
the dance of flames on flowers
most grabs the eye;
then as flames die
the flowers return and then are burnt again.
Meanwhile,
ice bands are thick with "mushrooms",
fungi large as juggernauts
that last a moment then are gone,
reduced to smoke dots
before they drift away.

The bands move on,
almost impalpably,
as if controlled
by ghostly clockwork.
Tick-tock, tick-tock
fire into ice
ice into fire.

Small animals
have grown the signs
and attributes
that once were those
of trees and plants.
A dog has leaves
instead of fur;
a cat is bundled
in white twigs, has
buds for eyes and
bark upon its back.

Winged elephants
like startled geese
take off in clouds
of scattered dust like water
from webbed feet (They're startled,
don't you see,
by too much urban sprawl,
the creep of factories and cooling towers:
it's that has driven them
to grow their wings,
evolve - along with all life forms -
a conscious evolution.)
to scoot bare
inches from the ground.


No plane can fly
those metal skies,
no sun peer through
nor birds take wing,
it is a shutter
on the earth, as
if we're riding
out some massive storm,
some climate change.
(Could that be so?)

31 comments:

kaykuala said...

Frightening the way that can and may happen. Why so? Global warming and pollution! There may be monsters lurking and you may have seen it coming! Excellent thoughts, Dave!

Hank

jane.healy said...

Deep dark thoughts here David!

I really enjoyed your take on the prompt!

Doctor FTSE said...

I'd like a printer like that if it inspired poetry as good as this. Thanks, David

Gerry Snape said...

that's quite a different take on this theme!...who knows what the future will hold.

fodder4writing said...

Absolutely F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C writing.
WOW ;-D What great inspiration you found with this prompt :-)

David Cranmer said...

I like this future glimpse.

Carl said...

Wow. I looked at the prompt a coule of days ago and thought hmmm. how would I write about that and got nowhere. You created a whole future world. Another amazing poem Dave.

Caty said...

it scary to think of what the future could hold...and the changes to come. Great thoughts and imagery in this poem!

JeannetteLS said...

I must be boring you by now with my comments. But I just do not know and marvel at how your mind spins. And I feel fortunate that I get to see the results every day, or nearly so.

Helen said...

Every time I switch out printer ink, a lot of gobbledegook spews forth from my printer .. I must say it has never inspired me to write anything as creative as this!!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Dave: Very Orwellian a vision here! Climate change can do this! Love;

to scoot bare

I take this as an English idiom! Goin' use this in my daily usage; may I?

Glenn Buttkus said...

Frightening, insightful, angry,
macabre, and you take us so
deep into your vision that it is
hard to clear your images from
cortex after that last stanza.
Love the line: /no plane can fly/
in those metal skies/. The whole
piece propels us into a maelstrom
of fear, yet is fascinating.

Isabel Doyle said...

I don't mean to be cheeky Mr King, but I would like to know what you are smoking?

Killer weed of word and line
like fire and ice:
apocalyptic.
Oh how mighty!

Mama Zen said...

Oh, wow! Incredible piece.

Jo Bryant said...

a deep provoking look into the future

Rose said...

Amazing,in fact, powerful images that you create here :) A tale of evolution or just a sketch of future fairy tales? Magic ;)

Windsmoke. said...

Bonza poem of the planets possible future because of climate change. I do like the 5th stanza very much :-).

Kay said...

so very thought provoking, these words made graphic images in my mind....brilliant.

thingy said...

Powerful, David. My hands were clenched as I read this. It's not an evolution I care for.

Ann Grenier said...

Frightening...all the more so because anything seems possible these days. Good writing.

ArtistUnplugged said...

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What brand IS that printer?

sunny said...

Excellent idea.thanks for sharing.

ds said...

Beautiful and scary and I hope not prophetic!
I could feel every image. Thank you.

Trellissimo said...

Seems all too likely...

Dave King said...

kaykuala
Thanks for a very thoughtful comment.

jane
Darkish, perhaps? Thanks for saying.

Doctor FTSE
I can recommend it: any Lexmark will do the job, I'm sure!

Gerry
The elephant, perhaps?

fodder4writing
Hi! A warm welcome to you. Thank you for your visit and your comment. Much appeciated.

David
Not sure if I liked it, exactly. Thanks though.

Carl
I've done that a few times: looked at a prompt, thought "nothing there" - and then been knocked back by what another person has done with it! Thanks for the reply.

Caty
Great to have you visiting. Thank you so much for your comment.

JeanetteLS
This is a very flattering comment. Not much chance of being bored by such a response! Thank you very much for the time and thought you spend on your replies. They are al very much appreciated.

Helen
Trouble is, most of us were not taught gobbledegook at school, and it's very hard to pick it up later! Thanks for commenting.

chiccoreal
Thank you for your comment. The phrase was: to scoot bare / inches from the ground - meaning to scoot just a few inches above the ground.

Christine said...

How frightening the future could be if we don't take care!!! It's chilling. Thankyou for this piece.

Dave King said...

Glenn
A warm welcome to you and much thanks for your visit and your comment. Good to hear how it seemed to you.

Isabel
I actually gave up smoking 25 years ago, but maybe I'm still suffering the effects! Thanks for the comment. I enjoyed it!

Mama Zen
Good to hear that you thought so. Thanks.

Jo
Welcome to my blog and sincere thanks to you for the comment. The feedback is always useful.

Rose
Not absolutely sure, but I think I'm sticking with conscious evolution. I rather like the idea of ecolution becoming voluntary.

Winsmoke
As always a clearly directed comment. Thank you very much for it.

Dave King said...

Kay
Hi! Good to have your thoughts. Thank you for visiting and for stopping by to comment.

thingy
no, that's why I'm going for this conscious evolution. Thanks for giving your response. Good to have your visit.

Ann
Hi. and thank you for your visit, and for saying what you thought.

ArtistUnplugged
I've always used Lexmark - can recommend the results!

sunny
And much thanks for sharing your thoughts.

ds
I'm sure it's not prophetic - I have my fingers crossed. Thank you for visiting and for responding.

Trellissimo
Mmmm... I'm slightly worried to hear you say so, but thanks for saying it! Good to have your visit.

Christine
Hi Christine and thanks for that response. I can but agree with your thoughts.

Morning said...

thought provoking.

Thanks for sharing.

unsungpoet said...

You do have an incredible imagination! You take the reader through what seems like a sci-fi scene, then the possibility that it may someday be so...

Mary said...

Frightening to contemplate, Dave.