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Life Arts    H2'ed 5/23/21

Notes of a burned-out time traveler II, followed by a reflection

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My phone has a time-traveling app
I think some other people must have the app
(I can't be the only one
But that is neither here nor there)
Anyway yesterday I used it

I went back to that place
That place in the future
With the big hand in the woods
The place where the children
Were trying to get the pigeon to fly

The place with the giant rusty spiral-things
That hang from the sky and the brain museum
To see if the future would let me think this time
(On my last trip to the future
It all felt like a giant brain freeze)

But I couldn't get my brain to work
But I didn't give up
I took a piece of paper out of my pocket
Where I had jotted instructions to myself
Just in case my brain shut down

It said 1 - walk
I walked I looked at the piece of paper again
It said 2 - Look around What do you see?
I looked around and I saw a man
Or maybe it was a horse

I couldn't tell I was confused
3 - If you see something take a picture
I took a picture of the horse-man
4 - locate the spiral arrow icon on your screen
5 - Touch the spiral icon I did

I was returned to my time
I couldn't wait to see the photo I took in the future
Now my brain was working normally
I stared at the horseman
I posted the photo on Facebook

With the caption: Horseman of the future
After that I scanned all my messages
And recent posts of my friends
Then I went down and worked in the garden
I was happy to see the asparagus



These burned-out time traveler poems are my way of coping with my sense that the world is running down. If we picture it as a giant wind-up gizmo (like my mechanical door-mouse that I sometimes wind up and release on the floor to entertain the cats) it would be doing whatever it does by fits and starts as the shadow of night moves around the globe. (The door mouse moves forward a few inches, then turns and heads in a different direction for a few inches etc, until it stops.) When I travel into the future I am visiting a place that has stopped. It is all wound down. There is a brain museum and birds in the future have all forgotten how to fly and there is a giant hand in the woods. This is a parable of course. The point is, when I return with my photo of the horse-man of the future, it is just another Facebook post that will attract 80 or 100 likes, but little or no curiosity, because the world, although it seems to be humming along, is really about to run out of juice. Until then, there is always the surprise of seeing that the asparagus has sprouted!

Here is the first burned-out time traveler poem:

click here

(Article changed on May 23, 2021 at 7:31 AM EDT)

(Article changed on May 23, 2021 at 8:28 AM EDT)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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