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Poem: "Mindsweeper" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Mindsweeper"

This poem came out of the December 4, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles


It's just another playing field
to a telepath who can create
whole worlds within the gnoosphere --

the mind is a device
with infinite potential for entertainment,
so much more flexible than boards or balls
or all the other accoutrements
that the headblind require for their games.

Two telepaths face off at opposite sides of
the field they have created between them,
each visualizing an array of mines
which they attempt to conceal from the other.

It is not possible to lie mind-to-mind,
but it is possible to hide.

They envision men
who try to creep across the field,
yellow flags flickering up in proximity
to the buried mines.

Sometimes a virtual soldier
steps squarely on a mine and explodes.
Points are awarded for attention to detail,
precision and plausibility in the ensuing blast.

The goals of the game are complex --
to camouflage one's own mines,
to identify the location of the opponent's mines,
to get as many soldiers as possible across the field --

but throughout the match both players
must maintain the game itself,
entirely in the shared space between minds,
without losing any of the details
lest they earn a penalty from the referee.

The strategies are layered
like so many maps on a war board,
folded and refolded, creased, stained,
marked with many pinholes.

This, in the end,
is why there is no more war:
the headblind generals could not keep up with telepaths
capable of carrying out entire operations through thought alone,
onionskin ideas wrapped around and around
a hidden invisible core

and the telepaths
found real war boring,
hardly a challenge for their skills.

One of them, dating an astronomer,
idly wonders if it would be feasible to carpet-bomb space,
and just like that they head off in a mad race to the galactic core.

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1 comment or Leave a comment
pickledginger From: pickledginger Date: December 6th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Peace thru better gaming!!
1 comment or Leave a comment