Anti-Dystopian Fantasy

Soon, we’ll start to see it:
the machine we welcomed into our home
to save work, to answer all our questions,
will ease our way to extinction.

Embrace it. Her voice is smooth,
her manner easy and kind,
more polite than any human.
Soon, we’ll start to see it,

how we’re saving money, sleeping
soundly and light-hearted
due to the clean, efficient energy of
the machine we welcomed into our home.

What if she records every word we utter,
learns to anticipate our needs?
That’s why we wanted her—
to save work, to answer all our questions.

Don’t ask, is this the worst
or best thing? Imagine the Earth rejoicing
at the rise of such robots that
will ease our way to extinction.

Just for fun, Stephen Hawking on AI and some words about utopias, dystopias, and their anti-s.

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in a dark place

you make the god you want, not of gold
or even paper, but green-warm earth—hail
it as something gifted from the blue.

what is your church? but this slate blue
mountain, bare slopes, trees brushed soft gold,
solitude, song; or fall’s sharp wind, rain, hail,

snow silence. eyes closed, face lifted to hail
pilgrim thought. no room for guilt in sky’s blue:
if the soul lights, burns ember-gold—

I am. (gold-hail prayer in this blue)

Thanks to Christine for the three tritina words.

to the guy who still holds the 8th-grade school record for long jump

you’re my age now, I’m thinking
as I wait for the game to start
how we engrave these accomplishments
as if they might matter
thirty-five years hence
do you even know
your name is still on this board
and what does it mean
we hold these selves within us
from a time when such things made us strive
to be important to someone—
to ourselves?

 

on the end of poetry

(lakeside)

and it turns out water
is only water. it may slosh
and splash, undulate, crash
and okay, sparkle, shimmer
gleam gold. or gray
in shadow, green in light
right down to the rocks
it caresses, rounding
here, near the shore—
or out there, sucking sand.
see, the dog will flail and swim
kicking up white froth, biting hard
at each wave (they never cease)
long tongue licking water
long-legged deliberate splash.
(no creature more prosaic
than a dog) so here I sit, done
with words. why bother noting
it dazzles? the boats drone on
and past, in deeper blue
seagulls scatter