The Far Shores of Saucerland - Selections

I. The beginning

Remember the day, o say, o say
When the aliens came
Remember the day, o say, o say
Our skies and cities aflame
Bright saucers skipping
Across the sky
Human heads screaming
The end is nigh
Days smashed to slivers,
Streaming like bees from broken hives
Never has so much gleaming silver
Blackened so many lives

We were left only words
We were masons no more
Creatures of lithium batteries
Silicon chips, plastic cards and
Artificial hips

Our skyscrapers built with mighty cranes
Without those tools we are tamed
Stonecutting is a lost art
No pyramids for us, 
or henges or magnificent busts 
to encode the day, 
o say, o say, 
the aliens came to stay

The aliens took the towers
and left us the fields
What buildings they ignored
we pilfered, emptied and fled
Rabbits raiding I-beam warrens
Grasping at flotsam in our dread

We molded cities makeshift and mobile
Out of twine and tarp,
Rusted carriages, squeaky wheels
Every broken part
We wander the fields like cows
The bovine herds upset at our intrusion
They are much more used to this agrarian life 
While we are not adjusted
No hooves have we to trod the earth
Or tails to swish away flies
Only our skin, our fear
And our memories

Some fled to the foothills then the mountains
No aliens there or so they thought
They bred like rabbits and had some in their stew
Twigs, pinecones and comfrey, too
Those who knew the old ways
the ways of armor and herbs
Spread the ken around
Make a fire thus, bind an arm so
In the shade of the poplar tree at night
You’ll find the secrets of the faeries

An act so blindly selfish and 
so wantonly selfless, those matings,
Humping in the hills until the pain drifted away
The clutch of skin drove out the fire of the sky
Their muscles spasmed 
shaking off the burned night

We wander the fields 
and watch the skies
Our vagabond masses 
mingle and clash
With other roaming clans
Most times we greet in peace,
barter, boast and warn 
Then move on like amoebas -
peoplepods groping across the land

Sometimes the fear rises, 
beams having flashed the night before
And we assail the other mass or they attack us
Like locusts, we are dormant then we swarm
A rhyme and reason we do not jibe
But our bones make us follow it

II. Meeting up with another tribe of survivors

Now I must refocus
For we did come upon
Another bundle of
Humanity, tarped and
Swaddled in sheets and things
Not intended for such use
But pressed into service
Like ages ago lark-abouts
Turned into sailors of
That worthy fleet from
Ole Brittania, they unwillingly
Conquered the world, had it
In their hand and spun it ‘round
As they traveled ‘round it
Until they were replaced by 
Da Gama and other Portuguese
I wonder, do the aliens
Have ethnicities?

We stand in our mottled cloaks
On one high lip and they 
Stand across from us on the other,
Between an untouched, untrammeled
An inviting bright greensward
Hale, healthy, beckoning; confusion
We murmur as we stare at them 
And the field, so, too, they - confused
By the impeccable, groomed lushness
Before us, like an emerald it sparkles,
A section of earth that seems to the aliens
Unknown, somehow forgotten, like it
Was years ago, o say, say
Before the aliens came to stay

A surface that has not yielded to
The beams from above or been
Overly-trod by oddly shod soles
Boots, shoes and the such worth
Their weight and fit in gold
In this new world, 
no one is making new ones
Well, one fellow is but his skill and designs
Leave one hankering for a simple slip-on
Or a hearty Timberland

Anyway, I digress, no such foot
Had stepped on this field 
in countless days, 
prim, fit and welcoming
We and they knew not what to do with it
I, unlike all the previous times 
when our group was faced 
with first encounters and equal decisions,
Stepped forward and called 
to those across the way 
A simple question, “Do you have a ball?” 
then I flicked my hands and kicked my foot 
at an imaginary sphere
Taken for a split second 
by the idea of our sphere, 
The earth, as somehow 
imaginary as the one
I had just aimed at 
the others across the way,
A like-minded soul over there came forward
Pulling from underneath his turkish towelish garment
A soiled and beautiful soccer ball
And together, all, we cheered
Both sides and again and thrice
Then we descended to the ’sward 
Most resting on the sides while the braver, eager
Fellows chose up sides and we played,
Played a simple game that invoked our
Youth and the ages of the past in 
One and the same motion
Halfback, fullback, striker, goalie
Defense, offense, midfield and, blessed be,
There were no referees

Timeless, I played then sat
Sweat upon my brow
And down my back
Many exchanged places
Sitting, watching then playing
The game never really started nor ended
It swelled like an orchestra tuning up
Then broke into a giddy romp 
Then trailed off only to storm up again
With a new batch of players taking
To the pitch, cycle after cycle of bicycle kicks,
Headers and silly trick passes that had
No hope of success and thus were joyous
For neither the ball nor the players 
Had a care in the world except to keep moving,
Keep playing, keep grooving

The game ended when the sun setted
Smoke from cook fires warmed the air
As bodies cooled down, tempers were fair
And even-keeled, peaceful, calm
We even kneeled - a prayer was uttered
The first I’d heard since…
By a bloke from the other group
A lanky fellow with elbows ruddy
And pants yellow, he fit in nicely
With the haphazard crowd we were
Yet stood out just enough
His voice timberish, crackly and creaky,
Full of strength, he nodded to our meekly 
Efforts that so far had worked 
To keep our skin and bones conjoined 
Under such circumstances
And praised our hearts that had come together
Two groups unknown on this fine field
On this fine day 

Such a day was that, we all wanted
It to last, yet we all knew too, too
Well that it could not be so,
After cooked meats and naps
Our retreats were made - equally
Warily, so that our knees would not shake
From loss or fear, losing a bond and fearing
The beams from above and missiles from 
Across the way - arrows, javelins, spears
Whatever might have been at hand
But this unlike other partings was
Laced with regret, a thought I’m sure
Shared by many yet unvoiced
Perhaps, perhaps we could stay here, right
Here and make something of this spot
Perchance the ‘sward was like a piece
Of a child’s game - a game the children no 
Longer play - home base, time out, olly olly
Oxen free or was it all come in free?, twas so
Long ago I can’t remember or, truth, chose 
Not to, memories being the things of shards and spikes
Unruly, untrustworthy, misleading

At the greensward both groups cast their last glances then 
Turned and fled down short hills so as not to be tempted
By the other group with whom we’d played and
Banqueted so recently
Trust after the devastation is a thing hard fed 
We feed our bodies mostly, our  minds only little
Our hearts fend for themselves and so with one last wave
At the man with the ball and the other that prayed
We parted


II. Remembrance

We needed to believe 
our story would be told
And heard not just recorded, 
no golden records for us, 
we yearned for living trusts 
and so you see how I came to be 
a walking, talking history
Of our group, one of three, 
trained and rehearsed,
Professors who once strode around 
in black, flapping robes now reduced, 
less their ivory towers, plus a common touch
Now they made us recite 
and note and repeat
The events of the mob,
 one action per day, this collegial
Board agreed, at least, was the need 
to make a worthy descendant of Homer 
and his ilk, I learned when I asked
“Why three?” that Homer was - 
most likely - multiple, face and a name 
that covered many unknown authors
Stretching back into the 
mist of unwritten history
Then when next I queried “Why me?” 
the nodding, chalky dotards 
said “You are unschooled and thus unsullied, 
tabula rasa, no need to unlearn language patterns needed, 
you can start from scratch - here and now - 
and we’ll be the batch that shows you how.”

I’m sure you have one particular 
question along with many others,
Like how did I get to that age, 
adult as the rest, 
without benefit of book learning? 
I see the question in your face
A place I know now 
that holds the secrets of the soul
If you can learn to discern it, 
well, ’tis simple, I grew up 
On the streets between 
Radcliffe and Dalrymple
The first a square, the second a circle 
and both the boundaries of my life 
young and unguided

I slept on rooftops and beside gutters, 
down alleys, behind shutters
Of empty homes, that section of city, 
you see, had many a second home, 
for me to use when their owners were away,
I left the harder streets to other, younger squeaks, 
I left them behind when I was ten 
and accidentally fell asleep on a bus, 
I woke with a fright at the route’s end 
when the driver kicked me out, 
I begged of him a ride
But he shook his head and wagged his finger, 
insulted me and strenuously denied
Any knowledge or ability 
which might aid me
When I jumped off the bus 
to avoid his booted toe
I found myself on a regal hill 
with a view down below
Of the big city

Somewhere in there 
was the block I’d called 
Home since my mom lost her throne 
and was thrown into the slammer, 
the nuthouse while I ran from the cops
Then hid on the streets in plain sight 
and learned to plead my plight 
to certain passersby, the ones 
with sadness in their grins
The ones with the clothes just so - 
not posh, not rented but middling
Those ones would more often 
than others took pity on me 
and spare me a bit, a piece 
for, they knew, if they didn’t 
I’d have to nick bread and cheese
Or whatever pleased me that day 
to fill my belly, I often wondered 
what they said once home and settled 
To their loved ones, did they mention me 
or not? Did they pride themselves 
on their generosity or was it more pity 
for me they felt?

There, years later, them having joined my ranks
As unhomed and wandering, 
the aliens their spur from home
Whilst mine was my lost mother 
and now here with your questions
I wonder did something similar 
happen to you?

I thank you for the meal, the table, 
The bed and its pillow
But I do not know why you keep me inside 
this concrete cell inside my own house
I’ll sing long and often 
For my supper,  
made from my own supplies
I see that’s what you want, 
more info, more data, 
you have the look of ones 
who need to figure out logistics
In a minuscule way as if 
minutia properly patterned 
had a power to make empires fall

Still I wonder about the true nature
Of your inquiries
Your talks have slipped singular clues 
that I have rounded up and collared, 
a herd have I of details that
Tell me things have changed in paradise
and that change is why you hide here with me
Perhaps, you hope, that I might provide
Some key knowledge, 
some enzymatic-esque tidbit
That will when uttered change your existence,
Aha, eureka, just so, 
it figures that with my time 
Out there under those skies 
that I did indeed come to learn 
enough for you to have my concern
As your top issue, that is why 
I speak to you now so I may maintain 
my position of valued prisoner,
 Helpful captive, invaluable inmate 
and to prove it so 

I will now tell you of the androids


III. Preparation

Ginny nodded, flipped thru the stacks of graphics 
once more making sure to see them all fully
So they stayed in her mind permanent and
That settled me for in the back of my head
I knew I was no longer dependent on just 
My memory or these papers just in case…
In case we are beamed at and made vapor
Even if just the drawings and nothing else made
Gone-ing by the alien beams, it would be a
Setback major for I knew I could not
Go back to land-faerie so soon without
Lingering there too long, finding a way 
To tarry there for decades of real time 
While my tribe suffered and dispersed
Without me as their center, faerie is
Powerful that way - enticing against
All will and logic, that is its very nature
And why we find it romantic - in all senses
Alluring, mystifying, entrancing, making
Captives of those who submit too much 
To it.

Ginny and I sat after someone brought 
Us coffee - Coffee! - My god, how I’d missed
It, the chipped mug with unicorn pony
Appeared to me like the grail holy when 
It was rested in my hands, trembled did
They so like the first time I pulled down
My pants in front of a woman though
Being sixteen just like me, Sarah Beamon
Was just barely a woman, though we 
Weren’t thinking of that as we began
Our mutual first and awkwardly brief
Briefless encounter, last I’d heard she’d 
Married a judge and had a little herd of
Five chill’uns, Anyway, forget that, the coffee
I swear this is true, tasted a bit like faerie-
World smelt, I thought I was mistaking 
This, my brain so queered by my recent
Journeys there and dismissed it ’til 
Ginny sipped it and said, “Odd 
Aroma, never had coffee like that
Before,” I lifted my cup and clinked
Them we did drinking most feverishly
Downing their contents in three gulps, then 
Four, handed them back to the one
Who’d brought them and said, “More 
Please, as much as you’ve got, keep it
Coming, we’ve a plan to plot.”

Ginny and I sat in conference
Debating heatedly a way to 
Explain the things in my brain
Some easy to tell, others not
Quite so well taken in by those
We needed to act them out, G.
Recommended simple truth
Put it forth all and every detail
While I hesitated thinking all 
Would rebel once I told them
What I needed of them, that a 
Couple of years it would be 
Before we could bring it to be
- My plan, that is, my vision,
What I knew to be true even 
Though I had no logical right
To believe it so, such was the leap 
That we needed to make, not just 
Me and Ginny, not just the tribe
But many others, too, all of us
If possible as many as we could
Gather, the more the merrier
Not quite the emotion that 
Will come about once accomplished
But merry due to relief, to excitement
Of goal attained and burden lifted, 
Merry as band of strangers 
Comes unified and exemplifies
What is possible with many hands
Working together, we can lift 
Our people and our people 
Includes everyone human, 
Lift our throng of a voice 
Up to the heavens and 
Declare our understanding
So the aliens know we get
What they’re doing, not 
Attacking but preparing, 
Readying, clarifying, 
Perhaps extracting and
Sometimes painfully that
Comes since the subjects,
We, did not understand,
A cosmic trip to the dentist
Is this, poking and probing,
Numbing manipulation,
Left alone, our spittle sucked
Thru a straw while we’re blasted
With invisible beams that
Generate ghostly images 
Which provide needed information
Which member of the toothy 
Band is healthy, which can remain
Which needed polishing or removal,
Novocained again, we sometimes 
Even go under for full dental-
People surgery; we are the cutting
Edge, the masticators of the 
Galaxy, the aliens the openers 
And closers of the solar mouth,
The muscles, I guess, they’d be
But without us and our pearly 
Points, their contractions would
Be useless, maybe even self-damaging,
They need us the way a hand
Needs fingers, that is why they
Hover and linger, making sure
There is no infection below, 
Our regular millennial check-
Up is what this invasion is,
Or close enough that the 
Metaphor fits, in truth we
Can’t really understand it,
Like alien pets we stare up
At them when they blast us
Like rover does when we deny
Him his food when his tummy’s
upset, or take away his bone

So he won’t choke on shards of it

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