The results are in and are final; we have a shelf life, an expiration date. Mankind can live until the age of 122. This is the oldest any human being on this planet of ours will ever be.
The science is conclusive with scientists and researchers in agreement. Nanorobots (the same ones who fight our cancers, deliver our drugs directly to our tiny cells) have taken tissue samples in every nook and cranny. Rushing through red rivers in an alien landscape until they finally reached the small fibre nerves in our peripheries, the microscopic robots have mapped every cell in the human body, examined every mitochondrion and tinkered with these diddy batteries, which scientists believe are the master key to youth.
To no avail. Even the God molecule, tweaked and optimised for maximum potency, eventually leads to liver failure and the potentially fatal sloughing of skin. The only option left to us to prolong life as we know is the unaffordable-for-most solution of replacing every body part, each organ and natural device as it fails.
It is a conundrum to prolong life through mechanisation; we have reached the apotheosis.
Congratulations: you are a first-generation superhuman, a godlike pioneer, a full-body prosthesis with a mind linked to the cloud in row D. You sit and watch your great-granddaughter place flowers in a vase on top of a dresser at your side – she says they are your favourite, she says they are the same flowers you had at your wedding. You search your memory for information, but you can’t for the life of you recall the scent of the flowers, nor the sensation of holding your sweetheart’s hand.
You reply, ‘Are they?’
Just a bit of news. I have just finished a poetry course with Manchester Metropolitan University, and during the course I wrote a poem which I have called ‘Sitting Room with Circus Lion’. I got a good review for it from another student (thank you Igor), and I’m reasonably happy with it as it stands, but to be sure I’ll leave it for a few weeks and then have another look.
Later this week, I’ll be posting my new microfiction ‘Theseus’s Ship’. So check back if you would like to read it!
And finally, I recently had a haibun accepted by haibun and tanka prose journal Haibun Today. The new issue is out now, so head over there if you would like to read the piece:
Reclamation (Haibun Today)
This month’s Haiku Pea podcast is a special on the theme of childhood. I had sent in a few haiku, and two were chosen to be read during the episode.
You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript here.
Written for IWH Haiku Challenge #3
under sapphire dusk
the corporeal world hidden
spirit world revealed
I also have two haiku featured in this month’s Haiku Pea podcast, hosted by Poetry Pea. This month’s topic is childhood and you can listen to the podcast on soundcloud.
The soft-shell crab is not a special breed;
it is an ordinary crab that has moulted its old exoskeleton.
It does this periodically.
its way out of its old support,
which lacks the elasticity
to stretch and fit its maturing body.
This shedding process is critical;
getting stuck means death.
When removed from its wet habitat
before a new shell has formed
and hardened, the soft-shell crab
stays weak and vulnerable.
Some would say, at their best:
or easy pickings for lazy predators,
impatient, greedy, big eyes
on stalks and gaping mouths.
The soft-shell crab is an ordinary crab
that did not get a fair chance
at rebuilding a proper support.