Observation 8-2018

I saw a baseball cap
sporting the slogan
Make Orwell Fiction Again
and it brought a slight chuckle
but not a real laugh
because of course I recognized
terrible truth

The most dystopian feature
of new reality
is the constant background drone
of military planes
always present
in our pristine Valley sky
each always slowly banking
as though it forgot something
and had to turn around
to head back home
like it wants to get a real good
look at me

They’re circling the farm fields
even peeking through on days
heavy with thunder clouds
and they’re circling the city
of Springfield
bending in and out of view
from the tall windows
of my sixth-floor cubicle
many times each work day
banking above train tracks
and the YMCA
often in pairs

I swear one appears
from behind Mount Tom
every time I drive south
along the Connecticut River
and pass the Oxbow
always startling
seeming to brake and suspend
so still
observing until I turn right
and out of sight

You might say well
there’s an air reserve base nearby
and we’ve long had these planes
populating our skies
but I know
what it was like before
and how it is now
a marked difference
that crept up on us
like so many other losses
we didn’t see coming at first

I hate those fucking planes
and I trust my own eyes and ears
thank you very much
they are the last defense
of we fools
in what has never been


  1. Wow! Crazy and absolute jaw-dropping first 3 lines Marian.
    And yeah, wouldn't that stop anyone in their tracks?

    I like how you've then walked us into the "new\old" dystopian features ... the idea of always being watched, first it was the introduction of cameras in certain spaces, communal and otherwise etc. Then it just keeps building, and growing. But often, it's the subtlest differences - like the planes. Constant, always have been - a part and parcel of "white noise" - but to the trained observer, it's the nuances that suddenly come to our attention, - a change in frequency, as it were, and the acute notation of something being "off for the usual."

    This is an interesting poem - and I think the ending is powerful for it's revelations, and confirmations. The resounding, "no, I'm not crazy or being hyper-aware or perhaps, paranoid" - but rather the re-affirmations of "sense" in an otherwise insane, and seemingly out-of-control reality.

    A very good poem indeed. Unsettling, but honest for the reality. I wonder what Orwell would make of all of this, now?

    1. Pat, I so appreciate your comments here and in general. You are spot on, reading this exactly as I intended. Are you inside my brain? It's uncomfortable in here, so you might not want to stay too long. :)

    2. roflmbo .... ummm, no, I'm not in your head, unless we're sitting together by a clear stream and drinking tea (cold or hot) and just nodding along with a refreshing breeze! (but I get it, not enough room for the shadows and skeletons, loose-paged cookbooks, spells, potions, birch branches and twigs, several orphaned socks .... er; sorry, this is my head space)

      Hope you have a wonderful week :) and cheers ~ always a pleasure to stop in and read :0

  2. This gave me chills as i read. It's a big piece, Marian and an important one, I think. The sense of insidious change is unnerving, and your reaction at the end, most understandable. And I really want one of those T-shirts.

    1. I might wear this emblazoned on a t-shirt. What I saw was a baseball cap, exactly like the horrid MAGA hats, but blue and with this inscription.

      Earlier this summer I picked up a t-shirt that is like those shirts and stickers that have been around forever that say "coexist" with various religious symbols. But mine says CORESIST. I love it. xoxox

    2. now that IS brilliant - coresist!! too cool :D

  3. I think that the changes comes just like this... and it seems to come in the most unexpected places, not just where you live but all over the world.

  4. Yes, a chilling piece! It makes me sad...

  5. Oh, this is so very reflective of our times. "Make Orwell Fiction Again" is such a great catchphrase though.
    This constant state of war and terror has perhaps been ingrained in us — saying anything against this militaristic attitude is akin to a thoughtcrime now.

  6. It's horrifying to see them around. It's like living in a Doctor Who episode, but... knowing that the Doctor will never come to save the day.

  7. good poem -- very chilling. truth is scarey
    Mary (cactus haiku)