Dark Future

You go to sleep and wake to a steady drip
and wonder if it’s radioactive or pure and clear,
like the streams you once knew.

Above ground, no fresh water remains:
no trace of rain
or cloud or sky.

There is just the twilight of your cave,
the weak rays that find their way
through fissures in the ceiling,

a distant sun revealing itself in your shelter,
bouncing helter-skelter
to the maze below.

Damp steals everything unless you shut it up tight,
but even the cans you stacked so neatly have rusted;
the labels peeled off long ago and every day’s a surprise.

If only you could give it all just to see the sun rise,
to swim in the ocean, cleanse your filthy skin
that you must live in all alone until you too are vaporised.

Kim M. Russell, 7th November 2019

Image result for man in a cave
Image found on archive7.co.uk

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meet the Bar by Changing Your Perspective, also linked to earthweal, Open Link Weekend

Björn is our host today and he’s talking about points of view in poetry. He says that poets tend to get stuck in one or a few familiar ones and wants us to consider the advantages of the various perspectives.

Björn asks us to go out of our comfort zones and change the perspective. We can either start from a poem we’ve written and/or posted previously and change its perspective, or simply write from a perspective we’re not used to. I took a poem I wrote and posted on 7th September, changed its perspective, line length, form and title.

45 thoughts on “Dark Future

  1. What a bleak poem, Kim. Makes you wonder if it’s worth surviving…

    My stand-out lines were: bouncing helter-skelter
    to the maze below.

    and:the labels peeled off long ago and every day’s a surprise.

    Interestingly, they are both potentially happy lines, but in this context they are terrible. I mean, they inspire terror…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the first short stories I ever wrote, when I was 13, was about a family running from atomic bombs in the city, to a cave they had outfitted for survival. In my tale, like a dystopian Anne Frank, no one survived.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When water turns into an enemy is one of the grimmest scenarios I can imagine. It’s like an auto-immune disorder of the planet 😦 You did a great job of creating a bleak setting of the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Second person is so oracular, is it not? Holding up a bone and bidding it to sing … Such vision it allows, stepping neatly around the personal infinity and the god who observes. A piercing eye here for the unseeable and unsayable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So bleak and poetic! The lines were so compelling and thought evoking! Amazing work😊 I was wondering if you could checkout my new piece on ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & JOBS OF THE PAST!And I would really appreciate it if you could comment some feedback to improve the writing style. Looking forward to hearing from you. – Kiran


    Liked by 1 person

  6. These end-of-world visions are so difficult and yet necessary for a poet’s full plumage to show. Catholics know that depictions of hell are so much more lavish than sketches of heaven. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Are you also planning to hide in a cave, Kim? I just need to stock up on tins of beans, find a little-known one and start hiding them…hope I don’t forget the can opener!
    Joking aside, this is a sobering look at a future the ‘lucky’ survivors of the Antropocene era might be faced with. At least now we don’t have to worry about Trump further accelerating us along the path to destruction!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily, I don’t need a cave, Ingrid. I have my little haven here. Our village is the perfect place to hole up. I have a can opener that works now, too! I want to forget about Trump and his awful family, but I fear he won’t shut up until he’s locked up.

      Liked by 1 person

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