Monthly Archives: May 2016

FUMES

(For a hitrecord.org challenge)
 
I went to the cabin.
You know?
The one by Gossamer Lake.

So many years.

We picked dandelions,
and blew wishes into the wind.
Nights spent holding each other tight,
surrounded by the song of cicadas.
Meals cooked barely keeping our hands
apart.

It seemed such a happy place.
Warmth and love.

But you took her here too?
I know.

There is an unfamiliar sweater on the couch.
A glass with lipstick smeared on the rim.
I would never do that.

An air of a sultry perfume
mixes with the gasoline
that I have poured around.

I breath it in.
All of it.
And I burn it to the ground.

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JUST FINISHED: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Utopian/Dystopian Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Handmaid’s Tale is a utopian/dystopian fiction novel set in a future not too far from now where nuclear war has caused a strange societal shift. The United States has been overthrown and is now governed by an all-powerful set of officials that take a literal direction from Christianity on how to rule.

The women in this novel are distinguished by the color of gown they wear. Blue is for Commanders’ Wives. Red is for the Handmaids. White is for Commanders’ daughters until they are wed. Brown is for the Aunts who help teach women into the role of a Handmaid. Green is for the Marthas who help organize/clean for the Wives’ household. A rainbow of these colors are for Econowives – or those wives of the poor that are expected to do everything.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Offred (meaning she is Of Fred), a handmaid, that has recently come into service under a Commander and his household. The object of the handmaid is to provide children for the Commander. This is her only duty in life – have a child and then move to the next authoritative household. The sex is not supposed to be enjoyable – in fact it is quite awkward – and the handmaid is viewed as purely a vessel for a child. Handmaids are needed in this society since the nuclear war has robbed many women of fertility or to even produce a healthy baby.

This novel presents several intriguing questions on society and ways in which religion can be construed to create a totalitarian environment. Atwood even gives explanation on how a government could easily make a full turnaround from a democracy with the people following. She also delves deeply into the roles and freedoms of women through construction of this future world. A strong hint of feminism is present throughout her writing.

If you are in the mood for submersing yourself in the tale of woman whose life has been completely changed to meld into a merciless society of the future, this one is for you.

PERSEVERE

An ant carries a crumb
three times the size of its body,
working his way across
a hot desert of pavement and stone.
Each crack is a canyon
and each pebble is a mountain.
Forward he moves.
Nothing will stop him.

For his colony and queen,
he marches.
Delivering this token
will bring the pride he has wanted
though the sun scorches his path and
the wind is unyielding.
Forward he moves.
Nothing will stop him.

Patterns in the summer sky
form the warning of rain.
He senses the ground’s stingy hunger
for drops that would only bring
a deadly pain.
Faster he will pace
as his tiny body begins to shake.
Forward he moves.
Nothing will stop him.

Shadows drift and sway,
pervading the world around.
Reverberation of the ground.
The black speck that forms his face
is held in fear.
He knows that giants are near.
Forward he moves!

But time is cut short.
Flattened into a mess of
spindled legs and wiry blood,
he is dead upon impact.
The crumb floats over the scene
to a destination unknown
and the world forgets the ant
and all that he has done.