We’re swirling leaves carried on the flow,
pebbles skimmed across the waves,
seabirds too ungainly to reach the sky.
We only touch time’s surface,
and never understand its depths.
On Friday, she knocked softly at the door.
She was elderly and frail, and she
held a schoolbook out to me.
“We must have speed bumps
on Lynwood Street. They drive
too fast. There’s going to be
an accident, and someone’s
going to die.”
She opened her homework,
a painstaking paragraph,
with t’s out of focus.
It was her petition to the council.
I added my signature,
and wished her success.
Where is it taking them,
their high-speed driving
down Lynwood Street?
Do they know they’re riders in pale cars,
and there’s only one destination?
On Sunday, she was out with her book again,
watching her feet as she shuffled along,
to be sure they were firmly on the ground.
In a daylight dream, eighty years rewound.
I watched the autumn leaves on Lynwood Street rise upward
to the Liquid Ambers, the houses fold gently into farms.
A schoolgirl ran to catch the bus, hopped hopscotch
in the playground, laughing with her friends.
At an ink-stained desk, she dipped her pen
in the well, made sure no drips of indigo
spattered on the page, scratched out
the teacher’s letters chalked up
on the board, the alphabet
in copperplate from
A to Z.
Perhaps, even now,
she hasn’t noticed
the pale cars we ride in,
doesn’t know their destination.
Or perhaps she doesn’t care.
Why should she?
When her bony hands
still clutch tightly
to the steering wheel.
Based on real events.
Lesser Happiness, which has a tenuous connection to the poem, is a 40s video with words but no soundtrack, best viewed HD full screen. The art was evolved with the visual evolution engine (VEE), my software that seeks unexpected realms, rather than using standard AI techniques to mimic existing art. Cyclic Nonlinear Desaturation (CYNDE) was applied in the evolution.