This is not a poem;
Think of it more
As a poetic telegram from your future.
This is not the future
With rocket cars
Or FTL Martian Colonization
This is YOUR future
And the future of your children
And your nation.
The plausibility is high
Because it is already begun,
And what is begun we will complete
Whether because we know to
Or because, too late
We are forced.
So these words are telling you
The suburbs will die
Along with the gasoline car;
Your children will inhabit cities.
Agribusiness will grow your things
Industry will manufacture ideas
And your neighborhood will feed you.
Everyone will be a designer;
(Did you ever play with Legos?)
Everyone will be a consuming producer.
Thus stardom will fall to earth,
Swamped in the morass of human experience,
Billions of us coming online.
Will destroy commerce in mass;
It is creating commerce in ideas.
So ships and trucks and airplanes
Will ply fewer expanses,
Copyrights will combat human rights,
And human rights will conflict
With human needs and the future generation's
Religion will die a slow, mistaken death
As "Science" learns to oppress.
The gentle will weep.
The classroom is the neighborhood
The workplace is your livingroom
Yet your reach is global.
Women will make children
For state money;
Men will sex robots.
The natural world will recover territories
The landscape dotted with panels
And windmills and cellulosic fuel bases.
The population will contract and empty
And grow old, demand will slacken
The economy slow.
Life will also slow,
The new spaces will be enjoyed
With knowledge gleaned from free books.
Libraries will deliver hyperlinked books to your house
For a fee, and your sunglasses
Will be imbued with 3D movie classics.
The word of rap will run
Over the dubstep ground,
Through an ethnic forest, to your ears.
You will grow poorer,
and forgetful, even of violence.
Medicine will oppress all of us
If we let it define our standards of life,
And computers will take our jobs
If we think of jobs
As they are thought of now.
Your children will thus actually want schooling,
Though education will not save them
From the press of their peers
Around the world.
All the specialized minds
Will let their cars drive them
Safely to only a few jobs.
The rest of us must learn to be generalists,
Cultivating in a strange, satisfying rennaissance.
Because it will at last
Seem strange, even to the young.