Thursday, June 12, 2014

Will You Garden

I see that you do not believe me. In your heart of hearts, you do not trust my words. But I promise you, it will come to pass.

You see the horses and the men who ride on their backs. The listeners in the corners. The friends who have given themselves over to the shadows, who cloak their minds in lies and curry your favor, only to report on your doings. You did not believe me when I told you that it would happen, and now that it has happened, you are like a child, discovering the world anew, bored by the groans of your elders.

I told your mother the same things about the ships. I said a second would come, and a third, and a horde. I said they would empty their bellies and grow across the land. They would release horses and patrols and build wooden brains for the patrols to enter. They would watch the land and the skies. They would know everything that would happen, and everything would be known except what they were themselves doing.

I see farther things. I see that the horses will vanish, and the spying birds, and the listeners. This thing we have brought to our shores, by our own sins, will grow, and grow further, until not even your own minds are safe. The horses will be as moving stone, impossible to hamstring, and the crows will become invisible, too small to catch, smaller than a bug. They will be everywhere, watching, always watching, reporting to the others.

And I will promise you then that it will grow worse, and you will still not believe me. You will dance and celebrate. You will become excited by bright colors and winsome lines. You will find smaller and smaller things to care about. You will believe that the lands are not yours, the great works not yours, so you will break and bend and torture your delight into a thing small enough to fit into smaller worlds. As your candle fades, you will till a small square, and struggle to wring from it the pleasure that your ancestors once had from a whole valley. You will move from your square to a few pots, then to one pot, and at last, only inside your mind will you garden. And there your successors will lavish upon themselves praise such as you cannot conceive of, for imagining a bud they have never handled. I will promise them then that even this will be taken, and they will still not believe me, and that is how the last garden will die in the same way as the first one did.


  1. I like it but am too dense the get the allusion. Hint?

    1. There's a bit about surveillance intensification there, but here's a more literal part of it: Prison Book Club.