The Automata (Poem)
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 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