The Automata (Poem)

Author's Note

The real world has limited the amount of time I have to work on more substantial heavy-weight hubs but I have been trying to write a poem worthy of being posted here and think I finally have one that is good enough.

The poem is inspired by my fascination with the idea of ancient automata, that is what are essentially ancient computers and robots. Believe it or not the ancient Greeks had robots that used gears and levers and other simple internal machinery. Sometimes they would put on plays. But what if they could be programmed to do more complex things like think, feel, produce goods, etc? And what if they were more ancient than man? The stuff of legend...

The Automata

The mist lingers over mountaintops
The seething sea relinquishes it's grip
As tides recede I see the city's outskirts
The morning stars guiding the lost ships

The light of ancient wisdom found
In twisted gears left ages unbeheld
And sunken ships set lying on the ground
Secrets shown when the seabed shifts

Through crystal waters and fleeing tides
Are shimmering memories revealed
Of deep machines built ages before man
Had left the jungles to meet the sunrise

The fleet forgotten rises from the waters
And it's captain's rusted bronze begins to bend
As steam escapes the gears of automata
And the pain of birth begins again

The bronze fleet was built before all time
Engines of glimmering metal pure and true
Lost at sea by error or cataclysm
Until this day none but the poets knew

For as they lift their sextants to the starshine
The machines find themselves awake once more
With sites set on nearest shoreline
And bronze hearts burning to return home

Who set the cogs of these in motion?
What gods begat these sailing crews?
What treasures did they die defending?
Of what adventures could they tell you?

And the tide revealed too the city
Now motionless beneath the rising sea
The place they struggled to return to
The polished perfection of home and family

Are we not machines ourselves lads?
Driven by winds we know not from whence
Our hearts with valves and gears still churning
Sent thumping by affection or offense

And thoughts like whispers come unbidden
To drive us from our homes and kin
To see that other distant shore beyond ours
And hopefully turn round again

Obscured by aeons are the intentions of these sailors
These metal monsters of a time before all men
With water logged cannons fast becoming ready
And iron limbs longing to swing a sword again

Were they conquerors or brigands?
Built to plunder or to heal?
Were they cold and heartless bastards?
Or can hardened steel still feel?

The distant peaks resound with trumpets
Triumphant as they make land at last
And set foot on the dry shores before them
For the first time since those ages past

What hungers push their heartbeats forward?
What thoughts lie in those tinny heads?
Will they see us as their allies?
Or will mankind all wind up dead?

They are set to drain their city
To cut the tangled kelp and vines
To renew commerce and productivity
To rebuild what all they left behind

What wisdom will we share between us?
Of gods of heroes and of kings
Of ages that stretch long before us
Of futures filled with lasting peace

Tirelessly they rise from the seafloor
With intentions blazing in metal bones
Deterministic yet they have freedom
Distant yet more warm than cold

With steaming hisses more than language
And infinite secrets still untold
We sit in the city by the seashore
And learn from the metal men of old

Mankind has longed for such a friendship
Always fearing that we were alone
But the gods it seems have shown us mercy
In these long-lived automatons

Shall they lay siege to all our fortunes
Or will we forge a lasting peace?
So much mystery left for the poets
About the metal men beneath the sea

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Comments 3 comments

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 7 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very much interesting and entertaining poetry on Automatons. It is thrilling to think about these machines and robots having feelings and thoughts and more experienced than men. A wonderful hub.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Loved this poem.

Well done!

Lawrence


Aroosa Hermosa profile image

Aroosa Hermosa 6 months ago from Islamabad, Pakistan

Brilliant :)

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