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  • ALL WATCHED OVER

    When I see — and hear — transmission towers looming over petroglyphs I think of this poem. The suspended humming wires — the “programming harmony.” I think of vision and absence. Passage and pulsating power; the racing, erasing current called time.

    All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace
    — Richard Brautigan

    I like to think (and
    the sooner the better!)
    of a cybernetic meadow
    where mammals and computers
    live together in mutually
    programming harmony
    like pure water
    touching clear sky.

    I like to think
    (right now, please!)
    of a cybernetic forest
    filled with pines and electronics
    where deer stroll peacefully
    past computers
    as if they were flowers
    with spinning blossoms.

    I like to think
    (it has to be!)
    of a cybernetic ecology
    where we are free of our labors
    and joined back to nature,
    returned to our mammal
    brothers and sisters,
    and all watched over
    by machines of loving grace.
      
    LINK to album:  Petroglyphs Watched Over

    Richard Brautigan’s 1967 prescient poem spins precisely along the accelerating curves of our self-identified twenty-first century trajectory.  A dream of loving grace while here, now, we humans glut and gloat our Earth home.  Wrapped with the poem’s unresolvable tensions, we can be terribly thankful we can fall toward metaphor.  Because if a cybernetic ecology is indeed our conjured and powered reality — now, what?

    A note.  Poet Richard Brautigan graduated from Eugene High School in 1953 in Eugene, Oregon.  The school building long gone, the one-square-block is now occupied by the “church” New Hope: “We believe that every person, Christian and non-Christian alike, is valuable to God and to His Kingdom.”  As I walk by, I do wonder if “valuable” includes grace?  —Douglas Beauchamp