For @epanttaja on WaveGliders
Hark, what cuts across the wine-dark sea,
what glint of light and motion, silver-grey
and sleekly sliding, gliding, silently?
Detritus of our modern life, astray?
The vanguard of a school of flying squid?
Illusions cast by sunlight on a wave,
appealing to our inner magpie-id?
Oh no! it is the future, small and brave
and oceangoing, sensors, motors, fins:
a Robot! From the boat we engineers
run tests; we see derivatives upon
the deep, parameters, the maxes, mins
which circumscribe our work and thought and tears.
Our dream in metal glides serenely on.
For @gwinizhdu on the cult of steampunk
A locket on a chain of heavy bronze.
A corset, monocle, and pantaloons.
Monstrous ticktock men on all our lawns
begriming us as smoky afternoons
head into night — work, damn you, work! A wrench.
A torch. A hammer. Phillips-heads, arrayed
romantically upon a tinker’s bench.
Dreams and dreams are waiting to be made!
Come away with me to yesterday,
tomorrow’s yesterday today? Perhaps
to yesterday’s tomorrow. This decay
is only rust. Some pulleys, canvas flaps —
an airship! Rise with me; the earth drift down.
(Steampunk is when goths discover brown.)