My Poem “Say No To Dystopia”

When I woke up this morning,
in my mind I felt like I had travelled
back in time to the year 1989 –
over thirty years in the past –
to a time in my life
when I began to become absolutely fascinated
by films and TV shows that depicted
what life would look like thirty years,
a hundred years, a thousand years in the future;
and this morning, while watching
a film called ‘Millennium’ –
a movie that centred around
the prospect and the concept
of time travellers travelling
back and forth in time
to save people before they died
and transporting them into the future –
I realized that almost thirty years before,
as a child, I was most likely watching
the same film that I was watching now on DVD
back then on VHS tape,
and while just as completely
enthralled now as I was by
what I saw depicted back then
I realise now that at the time
I did not fully understand what
the film trying to say.

Every film, every TV show, every book
whose story takes place
in a future setting and at a future time
always attempts to predict an accurate
depiction of how the world of tomorrow
will look, sound, feel,
and what the life of our descendants
will be like based upon an extrapolation
of the direction that some things
seem to be logically taking –
such as technology, fashion,
and the way that people treat one another –
and sometimes the world to come
is predicted to be one of hope, optimism,
universal understanding
and peaceful coexistence,
while some cautionary tales
predict that we may all be slowly
but surely spiralling into a world
that can only be described as being
dystopian
in which the children of tomorrow
have to live a hard and painful life
because of the short term actions
and mistakes of our present
which to them would be perceived
as their past.

Science Fiction writers and futurists
have been trying to warn people
what the future might be like,
and what the future world might
look like, if we – humanity –
do not stop and take a good, long,
and deep look at ourselves
while asking ourselves
where we are going wrong
and what we can do to build a better
world to leave for future generations
to be thankful for.

At this moment in time,
it sometimes feels like the world
is teetering on the edge of a precipice
from which there will be no coming back from:
a potential future that has been prophesied about
in science fiction tales for almost
a hundred years –
from H.G. Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’
to films like ‘Waterworld’ ‘Mad Max’,
‘The Matrix’, ‘Blade runner’,
and ‘The Terminator’ movies,
which all depict possible versions of our world
and a dark vision of the future
in which Earth’s natural resources
are in short supply or have been completely depleted entirely
and humanity is mostly living a day to day existence of not always knowing
how they are going to survive
and if it is possible for them to leave
a legacy going forwards that generations
to come will be proud of.

Humanity always has a choice
about which direction they want to go
in terms of technological interdependency,
the destruction of the natural world,
and the way they we take
what we have for granted –
and time will definitely tell
whether the predictions of those who either predict a positive version of the future
or those who predict a negative version of the future will ultimately be judged to be right;
however, what is as clear as a crystal ball
is that whatever happens in the future
to humanity and to the world around us,
every one of us are all the architects
of what has yet to come
and by influencing the people
in a position of power now
to want to give the gift of optimism
for the children of the future –
some who might not even be born yet –
we can be a part of making a potential
utopia by promising to keep
the predictions already made
of a potential world-wide armageddon
or an inevitable dystopia
tales of science fiction
that will never become a reality.

My Poem “Peace of Mind”

When we go so far outwardly
I find that it is sometimes necessary
to turn inwardly, to regress –
if only momentarily –
essentially to regain some perspective,
to connect all the dots that lead
from where we were and who we were
to where we find ourselves
at a given moment in time,
in order to appreciate everything
that we have and to realize why
what we left in the past
we needed to leave behind
for the prosperity of our future
as well as our present peace of mind.

My Poem “Apollo XI”

Fifty years ago today,
a man took one small step,
one giant leap for all mankind,
and imprinted the first footprints
of exploration of The Moon,
while capturing the attention
of every nation of planet Earth
and inspiring the imagination
of an entire generation.

The 20th of July, 1969,
was the tip of an arrow,
the culmination of an idea,
the realization of a dream,
the answer to a call to rise above
our human divisiveness
and bring people together
to achieve something truly astounding
and incredible by working together
for a common purpose
to give humanity a vision
of a prosperous future
in which everybody could live
in peace with one another.

Fifty years ago,
three astronauts of NASA,
three men of planet Earth,
three space adventurers,
three space explorers,
three dreamers escaped this planet’s
gravity and journeyed across
the expanse of space
and arrived in orbit of The Moon…
fifty years ago, Michael Collins,
Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong
did what nobody before them
had ever done before,
and with the entire world watching
them intently, and yet from afar,
they redefined who we are,
who we should be,
what we should be doing,
and what we should never stop striving for.

The human race is at its best
when we are all thinking
about what is best for everybody,
when we are reaching for the stars
and believing that things
can and will get better for all
if we all choose to be
who we were born to be:
a people with a shared destiny
who need one another to
live to our full potential,
so that the next generations
can one day look back
and think well upon the choices
that were made to realize
the never-ending dream
of imagination, ingenuity,
and interstellar enlightenment
beyond those first imagined
by the dreamers, the scientists,
the engineers, the families,
and the astronauts
that breathed life into the missions
to put the first men on The Moon –
which came to fruition
with the success of Apollo 11,
when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
made history when they walked on The Moon
and then triumphantly returned to Earth.

My Poem “Robot Artists”

Handmade with the human touch:
something that takes hours,
maybe even days, to create
always means more
and communicates so much –
because we can always tell the difference
between something that a human heart
was responsible for,
compared to something that was
mass-produced by a machine;
but machines do make amazing,
wonderful, and complex things
that can be fascinating…
however, some things – like art –
I believe could be copied
and replicated by a robot,
but when it comes to random,
chaotic, artistic synchronicity
I am not sure that a machine
could be capable of being as phenomenally,
spontaneously, inspired as much
as a human can sometimes be.

Technology is capable of doing things
that humans will never be able to do,
and it is very likely that the first
fragment and symbol of humanity
that an alien race from space will find
and see will be one of the robotic probes
that we have launched into
the great unknowns of the galaxy.

Robots can explore… robots can observe…
robots can extend our reach
and deepen our knowledge of the universe…
robots can already reproduce themselves,
and maybe one day robots will even know what love is –
but I am not sure if, or when, any kind of technology
will be able to describe, put into words,
and use love, pain, feelings, and emotions
like human artists do to build
the worlds that they fill with a life of experiences,
that nothing artificial could ever replicate.

But, maybe it’s possible? Maybe one day there will
come a time when a machine will embody
pure inspiration and pure empathy
greater than even a human artist
or poet could ever express?

When I write, it is almost like having
a direct line to something divine –
like having a religious experience,
like asking a question and getting an answer…
maybe machines, robots, and artificial intelligence
will one day evolve and reach a point
when and where they can out dance the greatest dancers?
Our perform the greatest actors who have ever lived?
And out inspire every great thinker
that humanity has ever had, and create
and make something that will eclipse human understanding
about life, about religion, about the universe,
about art, that the human mind
has always been incapable of knowing?

One day there will be robot cars
driving us to where we want to go to;
and one day there will be
art in art galleries
created by Artificial Intelligence,
by some of the most remarkable
machines ever made –
and when we arrive at such a time
we will find ourselves living
in an era of robot integration,
when robots can be
anything they choose: even artists.

My Poem ‘Human Condition’

Our existence can seem
like a raindrop on the infinite ocean of time;
our voice can sometimes seem
muted by a barrier of silence;
our life can sometimes feel
like we are standing behind an impassable line;
the universe can sometimes feel,
when you think about it,
too big to ever understand and too miraculous
and wonderful to just be seen and lived only once.

Birth and death are inextricably-linked;
life returns even to the scorched Earth
and the black ash of the remnants of a forest fire;
things can begin and end in a blink;
the universe’s ultimate power
is that it will go on and on,
and keep making and creating,
attracting and electrifying,
and being the source and the reason
that everything must transpire.

There are some people who believe
that humanity is the only intelligent life
in the entirety of the Milky Way galaxy,
and perhaps even the entire universe;
there are some people who believe
that after death follows rebirth;
there are some people who honour and worship
an idea and a way of life
that has been practiced for centuries;
there are some people who have claimed
to have seen things, and who claim to know things,
and have been deemed mad or crazy;
there are some people who believe
there is a definitive date for the end of the world;
there are some people who are capable of anything
in response to a single word.

Humanity is a singular, special, wonderful,
fascinating, and complex creation of life-
but in my opinion, it is not, will never be,
and has never been the most intelligent life,
nor the only life in the galaxy;
humanity has described itself in many ways,
and has believed itself to be many things
since we became free-thinking, and self-aware:
in stories, in legends, in monuments,
in countries, and in all languages,
in the form of music, art, and poetry;
and even though we like to think we have considered
and thought of every possibility of existence
there could ever possibly be,
there are dimensions of understanding
we all choose not to consider-
because they are too endless for us to dare.

Philosophers consider the who, the what, and the why;
doctors are the healers of our bodies and minds;
artists are the interpreters and magicians,
and the performers of the colours of the human soul;
astronomers are the watchers and observers
of the past, the present, and the future;
astronauts are the personification of freedom,
and boundless adventure, and a dream made real
that a man or a woman, without gravity, can fly;
a generous heart of someone special
is an example of the best of human-kind;
our wonder and awe at the sight of a sunset
is something truly magical;
our combined knowledge and constant ingenuity
is always going to be the most powerful,
intelligent, and interconnected computer.

We are all on a secret mission:
we all must do the best we can,
consider every possibility,
act on impulse,
love, laugh, see,
live every day with a dream and with hope,
and you will be among the brightest stars
of the human constellation,
and the perpetual life-force
of the Human Condition.