National Poetry Month: “When the Future was Real”

When the future was real

when warm ocean breezes blew

around the Cape in late afternoon

giant spaceships trundled through the sand

to find harbor in the rust-red arms of home.

When and how were questions for the scientists

why was the assignment for the writers.

Bottled energies in liquid oxygen

in machined chambers of the heart

in black Indian ink

in the sharp point of the rocket’s nosecone

in the pen as it bites paper

and watches it as it bleeds out.

Remedy for melancholy?

How about festivals for vacuums above

and Hells below, bony fingers jammed

in tight cookie jars never able to pry a prize

no matter how loudly the German cries.

I washed out the fishbowls

polished them in Windex

and placed them on astronaut’s heads

I woke the Wonderland fallen silent

and promised them more glory than any man

had had since the Lord Jesus, supping with his

dozen Argonauts in realms of spirit,

saw the Truth.

Before this firecracker is lit,

I have given them the highway map

and I pray and pray and pray

as immortality descends again for the first time

in 2000 years:

“Lord give them the whole of Creation.

The turbines of imagination turning,

Lord give them archangel’s wings

here, when the future becomes now!

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