Coming Second (after W.B. Yeats)

Turning and turning in a plastic gyre

The Garbage Patch grows silently.

Things fall apart, degrading into plastic pills and

Floating Barbie heads are loosed upon the world.

The plastic-dimmed tide concentrates in filter feeders.

The innocence of tossing bone over shoulder

Should have died with the Neanderthals.

The best want more stuff, while the worst

Slave hopelessly, for the same petroleum dreams.

Surely this thing should make the papers?

It’s bigger than the Second Coming!

But the Second Coming is fodder for series novels,

Televangelists, and lame excuses.

When I close my eyes to sleep, the ocean pours in and

My head fills with bleached coral, flotsam, and decay.

Headless, eyeless and without pity for seabirds,

Trash vortexes are here to stay.

The darkness should be my refuge but,

Hundreds of years of industry

Have born this nightmare, hid from us

By Commerce, who puts Nature second,

That rough beast performing miracles

Daily, of air and water and sustenance.

Who could sustain the guilt we should feel?

Who, but the Greens, gives a flying dodo?

When in hot water, Flat Screen Man will ‘reset,’

Invoking some planetary cheat code

Like easy-peasy carbon sequestration.

We play with Earth as if any day,

A new one could be born.

By Maaja Wentz

I wrote this poem years ago for my critique group buddies but when I saw it fit the latest of Chuck Wendig’s weekly writing challenges, I couldn’t resist posting it here.

Live Reading of Second Coming plus speculative fiction stories and poems

If you would like to see me read this and other poems and stories on video, watch this clip of my reading at Can-Con, one of my favorite annual events.  Beware, may contain horror, and Dionysus.

Can-Con is the Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, a literary and scientifically-minded science fiction and fantasy convention in Ottawa held annually by The Society for Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature.

Future Library: Message to the future

What will humanity be reading in a century? Will paper books still be read? Visionary author Margaret Atwood is the first to contribute a secret story to Future Library, a unique 100-year artwork.

Designed by Scottish artist Katie Paterson, Future Library is a real place, created for Oslo, Norway. Part of this project is a forest of 1000 trees, planted in Nordmarka, near Oslo, which will mature in 100 years to provide paper on which to print this unique anthology. A room in Oslo’s new library, made from trees from the same forest, will store these future books. Until 2114, visitors to this room can wonder at what kinds of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and stories the library will encompass, and create these potential works in their minds. Imagine growing a book over a hundred years!

A different author contributor will be honoured each year. When asked, Atwood declined to reveal anything about her story, because secrecy is “part of the deal.”

 

“I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.”

Margaret Atwood

 

In this video, Margaret Atwood calls any book “a communication across space and time.” As a longtime fan and admirer of Atwood’s writing, I just wish I could live to read her story.

Margaret Atwood – the first writer for Future Library from Katie Paterson on Vimeo.