Visionary Park

Dystopian Playland on Harmony

In a yet to be published part of Whispers I wrote “Where do the others live, the ones who sent us here? The ones who exiled us to the earth?”


One restless night, I dreamed about a dystopian planet named Harmony. All the poets, writers, artists, and seers of Harmony had been banished. Eventually they all died out and nobody grew up to replace them.

After a very short time, that alien world with a desperate name withered and almost died.

After a very long time Harmony’s dominant species finally realized their terrible error so they tried to manufacture new artists and poets. Sadly, nobody could find any books on “How to Make an Artist” or “How to Make a Poet,” and definitely not “How to Make a Prophet.” Their people flew from Harmony out to the faraway stars but they found no thinkers they could understand. Too long ago Harmony’s rulers had exiled their visionaries to alien worlds that were long forgotten and out of their reach. At the time nobody thought much about it.

Harmony built effigies and habitats. Harmony made studio replicas. Harmony put desks covered with pens and notebook computers in a place of memory and reverence. It was a theme park complete with carousels, a roller coaster, and ice cream stands.

They named it Visionary Park.

People thronged to see the effigies of the long-gone creative souls but all they saw were wax statues. The walls were all bare. There was no art, no poetry, and there were no books. Nobody remembered what books were, what purpose they had, or what might have been in them. Nobody knew how to make new ones anymore.

So, it was too late. And not long thereafter everyone was gone. The planet Harmony became a desert. It was dead.

The End

Is this poetry or is it history? Remember the Stalinist Purges, the Maoist Cultural Revolution, the Cambodian Killing Fields, the Nazi book burnings, the Holocaust, the Inquisition, endless Jihads still raging today, the exiles of every Prophet and the martyrdoms of many, the persecutions of the Baha’is in Iran, and oh, so many more on a smaller scale, all in the name of maintaining the status quo and social harmony.

“Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen.” (Marshall McLuhan)

Whispers

Poetry. Dissociation. Exile.

The swirls of paint
the patterns of cloth
the random clouds
the fallen leaves
fragments floating
just out of sight

they ride the dust of sunbeams
and hide behind mirrors
to wait for me
in my exile.

They watch and wait
beyond my reach
hovering at the edges of my vision.

Disembodied
silent
unreachable
untouchable.

Song fragments well in my head
shards of poetry and insight echo
I try to grasp as they drift away
songs hold answers.

Fragments might re-form
might become whole again.

Amidst the static
ancient choirs float on ether
only a few finely-tuned
poets and musicians receive them
the clues to meaning are in the fragments.

Don’t let the melodies disappear
don’t forget the whispers
save the fragments.

Musicians jam with electric guitars
wailing poets write rock songs
their fragments must mean something
or nothing at all.

Whispers from and about nothing
accidental meanings clearing up mysteries
and making mysteries afresh.

Artists draw glyphs to stand for fragments
correspondences, metaphors,
patterns, avatars.

They don’t know their symbols’ origin
but the exiles, the poets, they know
musicians know
exiles know them and quiver
suddenly they cry
they cannot explain it
they cannot remember
cannot tell all they know
no-one knows every level of meaning.

Joni Mitchell sings we are stardust
we have to get back to the garden
an exile hears her song and softly starts to cry.

Is the way to understanding
found in the secret places
painted on a talisman
poured from a chalice
embodied in crystals
invoked by chants
or by charms
or a totem
or a rune
a stone
tablet
jewel
icon

Is it found in sacred places?

Look into the jewel
containing other worlds
other realities
is the answer alive?

does it seek me as I seek it
or does it simply wait?

would I recognize it
do rituals unveil it
do books describe it?

Everyone is whispering
all the time
except the Prophets.

No Prophet ever whispered.

Only Prophets know all secrets
speaking truth in symbols
placed behind numinous veils
embellished with ineffable beauty.

Night's Golden Spiral

 

Evanescent Images

sit on the rock beside the lake
it’s early in the morning
the fog hasn’t lifted yet

the wind speaks to me:

your work is done for today
you captured images of birds
and you were up there with them
flying as one of them
you felt it
you were part of it
transcendent
you lived in my embrace
outside of your bones
you can’t think of any reason
to go back to the earth

the birds were my hopes
my visions of splendor, my ideals

I captured images of evanescent angels
whose flight trails were rainbows

then as suddenly as the beat of their wings
I lost them
I can’t find them any more
I don’t try any more

the wind knows
how I long to keep the rapture!

the wind commands me

there is only one way
you must do this:

touch the very still water
at daybreak
when the lake is shrouded and wondrous
when the air is cool and sweet
touch the water
leave your body here
fall back thousands of years to simplicity
leave it and fall back
touch the water so gently
stir it slowly
fall into simplicity
fall, and as you do
watch a woman’s face take form in the ripples
her face is luminous, it is real
she calls to you
she wants you to return to her
thousands of years ago
when you were both innocent
when the air was clean and sweet smelling
listen to her
she wants you to return to her time
go to her now
touch the water
touch her image
move closer to it
don’t be afraid
fall back
touch it
enter it

 

BECOME.

 


“The world is continually proclaiming these words: Beware, I am evanescent, and so are all my outward appearances and colours. Take ye heed of the changes and chances contrived within me and be ye roused from your slumber. Nevertheless there is no discerning eye to see, nor is there a hearing ear to hearken.” (Baha’u’llah )