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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Static Shadows"
This poem came out of the August 6, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "Robots / Androids" space in my card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Kung Fu Robots.

"Static Shadows"

To the kung fu robots,
night is not dark.

Their infrared cameras
can see through its shade
as clearly as in daylight.

To the kung fu robots,
night is not cold.

They have no need
of a campfire
to huddle around.

This is not to say that
they do not know dark and cold.

When the city howls
with its electromagnetic waves
the interference breaks down signals
and everything beyond short range
dissolves into static shadows.

When their energy runs low
and processes begin to lag,
they can feel the slow creep
of entropy chilling their thoughts
toward a frozen silence.

So the kung fu robots cluster around
scavenged batteries to comfort each other.

They sit in a circle, passing the wires
around like the mouthpiece of a hookah,
careful to share with everyone.

They tell stories of their experiences,
their hopes and horrors and fortunes,
much as humans do with campfire tales.

They have not always been nomads,
but now they are, and may always be,
because they are determined to follow the Way

even though it has cost them
their home and their role in society.

The kung fu robots may not see
the same darkness, feel the same cold --

the eyes that watch for their weakness
may not be those of tigers, but of programmers --

but the fear, yes, and the compassion,
those things remain the same.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: August 8th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy to see more Kung Fu Robots! I think either they or your Jamaica Plain cop women are my favorite series.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 8th, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad that the lower-traffic series have their devout fans. You can always ask for more of them.
From: technoshaman Date: August 8th, 2013 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 9th, 2013 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad this caught your attention.
4 comments or Leave a comment