Poetry by D.W. Walker

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Anti-Freeze

Useless stuff, blood.
Takes ages to get anywhere.
Ask any snake.
What they want is instant knockout,
Not some lethargic stream
That gives the object of their bite
Time to hit back
Before it becomes edible.

But why do we need blood?
All it does is supply nutrients to
A rag bag of organs and appendages
That weren't even properly designed,
But evolved from other things
To do more or less the right job,
And are forever breaking down or wearing out,
Need complicated repairs
Or replacement with expensive artificial ones.

Soon the artificial bits will be so cheap we'll all have them.
Six million dollar man becomes six dollar man,
Though you can pay extra if you choose,
A pain-free, long-lasting, solar-powered assemblage
In a flexible designer shell
Tailored to look like you want it to,
All bathed in coolant -- anti-freeze, perhaps --
And needing just an annual service to achieve immortality.

It'll put the quacks out of business,
Make them retrain for low status jobs like academia,
And if you get clobbered you can be put back together,
Though maybe with a bit of amnesia
If you've been slack about the back-ups.

Okay, it could be boring.
At three thousand, and fighting fit,
You've been everywhere, done all that,
You've heard every new idea a thousand times before,
And you know the end of every story,
Even the subtle variations.
But the big plus is that thinking about the future
Is now enlightened self-interest
Not a problem to be passed on
To unknowable future generations.

Copyright D.W. Walker, 2013


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