Future Dream, Bruce Parker

Dale Champlin, Portrait of Camille Claudel by César 1884 Musée Rodin Paris France, Collage, 2021

Future Dream


The dream of the future
is the dream of nothing,
impossible to truly visualize:
no wind straining itself through the colander
of the silver poplar’s leaves, nor its sigh,
no sight of scrub jays after strewn peanuts,
no flicker at the suet cage, its mottled body posed
like a grave manservant ignoring a splatter of ink
on his starched shirtfront—
oh, but I stray from nothing
to show what I will miss,
but never know missing it—
nothing includes no regret.

Bruce Parker


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

Just this morning, my attention and patience were hijacked by a six thousand words essay about the possible nefarious socio-political ramification of a philosophy called Longtermism. I will only say I’m glad to be back on poetry and this poem in particular which verses close the door on all the bet-systems, teasers and pleasers, hedging and Martingale we have become addicted to.

The dream of the future

Loss without omission and absence without desire: a most welcome reality check. A poem about the irreversibility, unrepeatability of any given present time. Portrayed here, the infinitesimal uniqueness and capillary perfection intrinsic in any instant; pretending, dreaming that our little heads can draw and model another reality, perhaps an even better one, is plain heresy.

is the dream of nothing, 

Wind, feathers and food, and their ever-changing, ever-dependable relationship: let’s spend the little time we have in cherishing these moments, not fantasizing about new ones (on other planets perhaps). Yes, of course: we play gods: dissect, describe and predict, we love it and we are good at it. But in reality, the depth of a subjective experience, present within a single breath or behind a flap of wings, goes way beyond our understanding, let alone control, and blind madness or, worse, bitter disappointment awaits he who dares to venture into those cosmic tendrils.

Nor its sigh,

What we have is a full appreciation of what a moment of life on Earth is, a full understanding of its balances and full acceptance of its imminent departure, calm acceptance: a poem to be truly grateful for, as we feel a weight lift off our shoulders.


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