Poem: ‘The Future as CDG Terminal 1’

The future is a long low passage,
Whitewashed, undulating,
A moving forward-flowing track,
No chance of going back.

The future has no message,
Its ads are guides only to the past,
Misleaders, redesignposts,
Echoes, undefined ghosts.

The future is travelled without presage,
Always onward, none comes back.
Predestination without destination.
Stationary or walking, you’ve no final station.

The future goes on until you get off.
I won’t. I will not to get off.

This poem (set in Charles de Gaulle airport’s people-mover) is halfway to being a sonnet: it has three sets of four lines and a final couplet, and its lines are not far from being tetrameters or pentameters. But the rhyme scheme is idiosyncratic: abcc adee afgg hh. But even that is being kind: the last couplet doesn’t rhyme, it just repeats its end words.

And yet, mishmash though it is, it was published in The Rotary Dial, Canada’s leading formal poetry publication for the few years of its incandescent life. So perhaps it is at least semi-formal poetry.

“sba-cdg85” by dsearls is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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