THE FUTURE BECKONS

The Sunday Whirl, http://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/, served up random words from the dictionary for their wordle 17. The words are: tremor, enmesh, tuft, seditious, neither, tread, pledge, sporadic, stigma, plaster, hinder, sacred.

To me, they didn’t seem random at all. ‘Seditious’ set the tone, making it either patriotic or political. I couldn’t help myself. I had to have some fun and take us into one possible future.

THE FUTURE BECKONS
by Mike Patrick

In 2020, the United States
eschews all future war.
Sixty years of protests win,
the “Peace Now” signs plastered
across the country finally seize the day.

2021, the President signs a pledge,
human life is too sacred
to sacrifice policing an ungrateful world.
No longer will we become enmeshed in war,
or hinder other countries in their rush to ruin.

2022, the armed forces are disbanded.
All nuclear weapons are destroyed.
Passive peace begins to cheers.

2023, seditious patriotism becomes the stigma of
the lower class. Its sporadic appearance
is eradicated like a tufts of weeds,
yanked out by the roots.

2024, a Constitutional Amendment
erases the right to bear arms.
All firearms are confiscated,
the homicide rate falls to an all-time low.
The United States now enjoys
the same peace it extended to other nations.

2030, a tremor is felt as the treads
of giant tanks roll ashore on the eastern coast.
Neither state nor federal law enforcement,
as the only organizations with firearms,
can do anything to slow them down.

2031, the politicians congratulate themselves
over the low loss of life
as the population accepts the yoke of slavery.

I’ve just returned from reading the other wordle posting. Imagine my embarrassment in finding out I can’t read. I saw ‘neither’ for ‘nether,’ and no, I’m not going to try to fix it. Eleven out of twelve ain’t too bad.

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36 Responses to THE FUTURE BECKONS

  1. Fantastic concept, entirely to be desired up to the final two stanzas, I don’t know about having fun with this – you raised the hairs on the back of my neck.

  2. siggiofmaine says:

    I really like where your imagination took you…good writing, tough words, for me anyway !
    Truth may be stranger than fiction. Tighten your seatbelt for the ride.☺.

    ☮ ♥ Siggi in Downeast Maine

  3. TheMsLvh says:

    As you once said to me, sort of, “Your politics are showing”.lol.
    ok, I am going to try for an opinion of your poem (loving the free form btw)’
    First verse: Corporations would never allow that to happen
    Verse two: Let the evil rise up and again what I said about corporations
    Verse three: Not leading to a fair fight. Like being unarmed in a dark alley
    Verse four:Socialism?
    Verse five: No way Jose
    Six, China?
    Seven, Loved your sarcastic humor in this entire poem!
    Did I go out on a limb with this Mike?

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I’m laughing too. I knew I’d get a rise out of you. You are right, of course. No way. This is not going to be happening anytime soon—maybe in a couple hundred years, but it was fun, and it’s where my muse took me. I was looking forward to some fiery comments.

      There is no way you’re out on a limb. You are way too good a friend for that. Besides, I realize I’m very conservative for a poet. I need a good slap down once in a while.

  4. Mary says:

    Mike, this is one intense and chilling poem. The brave ending stuns. People may speak of ending wars, but at what price? This poem will stay with me for a long time to come.

  5. brenda w says:

    Whoa! You took this to a completely different place than I would have imagined. Excellent writing, Mike. You certainly present a compelling argument for the right to bear arms. Nicely done.

    • To me, there is world of difference between the right to bear arms for individuals and a collective responsibility to defend the weak. But what do I know?

      • Mike Patrick says:

        Viv, many people fail to understand the reasoning behind the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment. It has noting to do with hunting or even personal home protection. It was written after the terribly destructive war for freedom from British rule. It was written so individuals could unite to fight tyranny from any quarter.

        No entity (including an internal one) can run roughshod over an armed populace. Perhaps Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy said it best: “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

  6. Yes, and it may well be a furture senario in a vastly different world then too. Great use of the worlde words Mike.

  7. Mike, could happen.

    Pamela

  8. Mama Zen says:

    Wow! What a vision!

  9. Loved how you envisage the future..

    hinder the tremors

  10. Mike, I’ll be waiting for your comment on mine. “Seditious” also led me straight to the military, but in a different way. My respect for men and women in uniform never wavers, even though I am a pacifist, but I also know the dirty underbelly of what happens to special ops and SEALS once they are no longer of use to the military. Yours was a good write, and RIGHT. We should always be able to bear arms; it’s the nature of our country. The nukes I could do without!! Amy

  11. Irene says:

    It seems human nature ensures war happens and peace is a utopia.

  12. Mike says:

    What a great poem and a clever take on the words.
    I loved your trip into the future.
    I couldn’t help but get an image in my head of those invading forces in 2030 not coming from any of the ‘expected’ places but maybe from somewhere unexpected – like outer space. But then that’s just my strange imagination – but thank you for fuelling it.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      With the disbanding of the military and disarming of the citizens, it could be from anywhere with a standing army. We wouldn’t be able to stop Cuba, but I like the idea of outer space. I’ve read hundreds of sci/fi books, and we always found a way to defeat them.

  13. Traci B says:

    Mike, maybe it’s because I’m also “very conservative for a poet” but I knew almost exactly where you were taking this. Wasn’t expecting the tanks to roll out from the Beltway,but I knew there would be an occupation force along any stanza now…

    Great use of the wordle in a plausible-enough-to-be-scary scenario.

  14. 1sojournal says:

    Michael, five lashes with a wet noodle for daring to even consider reining in your muse. The words take us where they will and we simply consent to follow. I’m glad you did. The picture you created more than possible and likely probable given the deep need to dominate and win out that travels through the human blood stream. I don’t like guns, but I do agree with your outcome.

    Elizabeth
    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/

  15. Scribbler says:

    That was very interesting and unique. You really took those words and made work for your message. It is very interesting to think on and was flawlessly written. Beautiful job!

  16. Tilly Bud says:

    Mike I love this! Great take on the prompt. I suspected the ending because it was inevitable, but the tension in my stomach felt very real.

    One of your best.

  17. What an imagination! I enjoyed reading the poem and I was so engrossed in it as I read. I like the turn you took at the end. Awesome!!!

  18. Nanka says:

    Mike lovely poem no doubt about that!! I liked what happened from 2020 right till 2024 …and
    “The United States now enjoys
    the same peace it extended to other nations.”

    But LOL 😀 I feel here we are already in 2030 and 2031 and it made me smile while reading your lines!! 🙂 Wish you had prophesied this some years ago!! 😀
    We are still dealing with callous statements made by politicians like ..”low loss of life”
    >..< hhmph!!

  19. jennifaye says:

    Scary….but definitely thought-provoking. Very creatively done.

  20. Mr. Walker says:

    Mike, a fine piece of science fiction, the kind that throws light on the present and the past. Your theme of doing what seems right in the moment, but without thinking about the long-term consequence is powerfully conveyed here.

    Politically, people seem to forget that some states did not want to ratify the Constitution until a Bill of Rights was added. If I recall correctly, that was true of New York and Rhode Island. Many people were afraid of the power of government and wanted to be able to feel protected, to have the rights of the first amendment to try to peaceably right governmental wrongs, and then in the second to have the power to resist a corrupt government, if that were necessary.

    Richard

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I believe that lesson has been taken out of the schools’ history books.
      Here in Missouri, Richard, the legislature has passed a law forbidding teachers to have any contact with their students through FaceBook. This was a response to a teacher using FaceBook to facilitate an improper relationship with a student. Forget about the bill of rights guaranteed in the Constitution, forget about all the additional help and guidance a teachers can give, forget about the ease of disseminating homework assignments and lesson plans; let’s punish millions of students and teachers for the actions of one amoral, subhuman creature. Even if it was more than one, if it had been hundreds, it’s the freedom of speech!

      What bothers me the most is the people who make the laws are so ignorant of the Constitution, they didn’t know their law was unconstitutional—never occurred to them. It took thousands of parents, teachers, students and a judge to point that little fact out to them.

      Result: they are trying to figure out how to rewrite the law to do exactly the same thing—only make it legal. (I’m not sure how they think they can overcome the first amendment, but this is too good a chance to gain control of a section of the internet not to try). No one has considered using the criminal statutes covering sexual abuse of a child to harshly punish any person(s) who actually break the law.

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