Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A poem from the future

I have forgotten the smell of ink
& crease of paper on my hand
As I write to you

Everything here is paperless
Which makes my nose & other senses
Addled & forgetful of

The fragrance of roses 
The taste of freshly cooked vegetables
The sight of crisp apples dangling from trees

The products here are artificially made
Genetically altered, lab controlled,
Mass produced, scientifically reprogrammed

All seasons ready & available at button's press
No need to go to grocery & lug them up your house 
Food & drinks are delivered in small packs

A thousand flavors to choose from
Like seeds for spring, ready to explode 
by adding half a cup of water  

Not much cooking is required
My teeth are whiter 
As I don't tear nor chew on my food
They have been blended soft & coagulated with vitamins
mandated by medical authorities

Here, you won't recognize the cities 
Stacked by tubes & cylinders reaching near the skies 
And guess who is walking along the walkways 
Not just people but robots

Doing chores 
Doing the planning for you
Carrying out your fantasies 
Dulling your primal instincts with promises of efficiency 

Yet I have to say
that until now we can't control the weather
Nor predict the arrival of hurricane's spinning eye

The universe is still a mystery
Wrapped in umbra of exploding stars
Birthing new planets crackling from the distance

I will not tell you where I am writing from
Because your future destination is yours to make
Bathe in the present 
Uncovering the deepest meaning

For our time here, like the twilight
is precious and fading
and while there's certainly nothing new under the sun-
Under the moon, there is waiting 

Ending lines & inspiration from Ben Burke's  A poem from the future 

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - I am pleased to be your host for our Poetics inspired by Ben Burke's A poem from the future which originally appeared in TED.

Picture credit:  United States OKs Canadian grown non-browning GMO apples - Okanagan Specialty Fruits two genetically modified apples — Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny — are deregulated by the United States Department of Agriculture.  


  1. oh heck.. if there is no real food in the future anymore i don't wanna go there... ha... and nothing beats the scent of paper...of a good book... oh i would miss this even though it might be easier but...

  2. Ah, this kind of future seems kind of bleak to me. I would miss the fragrance of flowers, the taste of food, and REAL apples hanging on the tree. So often it is our senses that give us pleasure in life. Without lovely smells, tastes, and interesting things to see, there would be less joy in the day. I just can't imagine it really.

  3. oh what a bland future it seems....paperless...i need the feel of paper....and ther eis only so much artificial that i can take...i am rather glad we have not figured it all out yet...that there are still mysteries...in that i find a bit of hope...

  4. Paperless I am fine with to an extent at my sea, but please, no robots for me. Skynet can stay far away lol

  5. No way! okay, I'll take a few robots for chores, but gimme my food; I can't live without meatloaf... :( could I do without paper? Hmm, I do tend to get through books faster on kindle, but, I still love the smell and feel of paperbacks/hardcovers... I hope there's never a time where technology takes everything over COMPLETELY. We're pretty close now tho...

  6. Frightening future you describe there, although tantalisingly close, I feel... And that sly turn of unpredictibility in the weather - ha!

  7. Oh I want to cook.. I want to chew it well.. and robot's doing chores is probably fine, but I recon I would be bored just having fun.. Still bless the universe and the moon.. I think we need to stop some things today...

  8. oh... a bit sad, i like how you have invented something different than we are aware of... I remember at 20... 40+ years ago wondering what life would be like in 2000... not as many changes as it was from my parents

  9. Grace, LOVED the first lines. And the final admonition,
    'your future destination is yours to make
    Bathe in the present
    Uncovering the deepest meaning'
    is very moving to me - love this.

  10. Anm interesting take Grace. A well done write. >KB

  11. I would miss many of the things you mention in your poem, Grace, especially the food, scents and... paper. I got books and a sketchbook for my birthday and was just delighted.

  12. Oh Grace, spectacular. The prompt itself, and the material offered for inspiration is wonderful. And, in the description of the new efficient soul-less future, I am glad the universe is still a mystery, that we still cant control the weather (who is getting back at us big-time!) and that our future destination is (still and ever so briefly) ours to make. Just loved this!

  13. This is such an interesting rumination from a futuristic perspective. It really sets the mind moving through an ominous and haunting labyrinth. The absence of the tactile and organic really struck me.

  14. I love how you end this with such good advice and hope. It's hard not to imagine a dim future.

  15. I like the metaphor of twilight ...and waiting..for what we do not exactly know. You presented some new thoughts on the future, that is for sure ;)

  16. Love the emphasis on the present, where we are most peaceful. Wonderful poem with a perfect close.

  17. Rage rage against the scentless future!

    ALOHA from Honolulu

  18. What we are already doing to ourselves in regard to our food scares me...I love that you raise this issue as a detriment to really, fully enjoying living in the future in your poem. Everything lab controlled sounds a bit horrifying, ha. You hit on many what-may-lie-ahead realities deftly. Excellent work, Grace.

  19. nicely done with developing a pre-packaged, scientifically perfect (if somewhat sterile) world...but still admitting that the universe remains a mystery.

  20. We are going paperless every day. I would miss paper and writing in my journals. A world of robots is not one I would enjoy. Where would our creativity go I wonder? Interesting prompt.

  21. Hold on. No crackle of paper in my hand? No fresh food? Robots doing the thinking for me? I don't like this place at all.
    Yet, I like how you have retained the power that the Universe holds -
    "The universe is still a mystery"
    We need to slow down, take a nap. Lovely thoughts, Grace!

  22. Waiting under the moon ... chilling, prophetic. But teeth are whiter! Goodness, what a loss is paper and ink and roses

  23. such a good prompt Grace and an amazing poem from it...it's really sad to think what numbing artificiality will suffocate us in future....i also used the same stanza of Burke's...

  24. If they can do all that stuff, I reckon they'll control the weather too - sun and showers at the touch of button, not too much, not too little, but just right.
    All these letters from the future make me glad I'm old!

  25. Well Grace you certainly made me happy to live in these troubled times of man, the future sounds boring routine plodding especially when the weather is the most exciting surprise.

    No I will live today--spending most of my waking hours in the night.

    1. OH yeah we're not totally paperless yet...the Veterans Administration still doesn't have a paperless billing system...and of course that is the one piece of mail that never seems to arrive.

  26. It is almost scary......you pinned it..and penned it well......

  27. i guess it starts with a flint stone somewhere.. TOOLS.. extension of human life.. where human life.. becomes more TOOL than human life....

    A arrowhead.. a slingshot.. a gun.. a nuke.. and then there is potentiAlly none...
    and then there are shades of ashes.. gray and clouds of dust and then unto dust human makes dust again....

    But there is a bright SIDE NOW.. A COLOR FILLED one i refuse to leave.. for NOW..:)

  28. Ugh. That are not hopes for the future. May you find something engaging!

  29. baby food for everyone..oh, my daughter would not love that,she did not enjoy baby food even when she was a baby :)
    too much available too easily - not sure if that is an interesting future..

    love the words that flow on your page always..

  30. dystopian - the future, as pap-filled pallor. smart and chilling ~


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