Golden Clouds … Remember

Golden Clouds

“New Heavens and a New Earth”

Part I. Crisis
They came for them, today, the last trees in our town.
They stripped away the last remaining biomass…for energy
to run these trucks carrying the soldiers that keep us safe,
to serve the dwindling few and those they still command.

II. Exiles’ Journey
Is he downstairs, again, fallen asleep in his chair…
or did we bury him under Terra’s summer sun,
and I’ve forgotten once more
during the long, cold
night of space?

III. Memories
Lulled to sleep by weeping sands against the window,
mixed by winds with sleet and snow, I dream
of golden, glorious clouds racing before
that one last towering storm, the day the Earth
last heard our voices, felt our steps,
then was washed by rains
no more.

My “found art” is taken from my personal photo and poetry archives. I captured the title photo in July 2004; it later became the inspiration for “Endings” (Star*Line 2009, excerpts used in Part III), which was nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association‘s Rhysling Award. Part I comes from “Future Freedom”, a Judge’s Pick in SFPA’s 2008 Poetry Contest (Theme: Energy). Part II is taken from “Outward Voyage”, which was published in Star*Line in 2011.

*Mining your own poetry.

O Hidden Drawer

“O Hidden Drawer”

Secrets tucked away against tomorrows,
Life that’s not yet realized. Keeper of Mysteries,
You hold a cache of tokens that reflect
A different me, a stranger to close friends.

Three flash memory sticks that contain
Passwords for devices and accounts
I no longer own or which have sat in a closet,
Broken, for months or years or decades.

Keys are in the drawer. Relatives’ keys
To safe deposit boxes–I don’t know where–
Left to me for their safekeeping.
When they’re dead, I’ll throw away the keys.

Short-term hope! My husband bought
A raffle ticket for me, in case I should like
Another chance for him to win a prize
Without himself appearing spendthrifty.

And last: one extended bolt release, three thumb tacks,
And an old gift card with an expiration date
That makes it useful into the next decade,
Should I have to get out of town in a hurry.

“O Hidden Drawer”, Lizl Bennefeld, 2015-02-26

Written for day 8 of Writing 201: Poetry

Not a Foggy City Street (Day 5)

“Not a Foggy City Street”

When people and penguins pass through doors, they leave
their short-term memories where they no longer are.

This is why penguins, having deemed primordial ice sheets least likely
to sprout city center architecture that would block the view

of morning sunrises and tow’ring clouds that carry snow–
forever multiplying amnesia’s doorways and confusion–

have settled in there permanently. At least until
those they eschewed have blacked ice and snow

and ushered in the age of
no-cost heating.

“No Favors” – Prose Poem (Day 7)

“No Favors”
by Elizabeth Bennefeld

We did him no favors, keeping him alive beyond his time. All alone, now, safe from any germ or poison or dirt or grass or fresh, cold air and sun of an autumn morning, rays of light that caress, not treetops, now, but barren ground. It would be a kindness if keepers let him sleep one last time and let him never wake again. Or join him in that cage of glass that keeps him far away and yet so near to gentle touches, fingers running through his fur. Whisper sweet words of not-aloneness in his ear. The last animal on Earth that is not man lies dying. Do not let him die alone.