Future Fable: The City and The Ship of State


I spent half a century seeking an abandoned ship. There is a fog of forgetfulness here. It is used by those without names to wake another day. Snakes slide and shake smoothly along this point of the muddy bank. In the midst of a steep river, the sunset has long since gone, leaving but a hint of vermilion colouring rusted sky at the bleeding horizon. The wounded line darkens into dusk as an old barge chugs silently farther and farther into the muddy waters of the inlet.


It’s one thing to have the dogs chasing birds along the river bank, it is another to seek a rusting dream that hangs in time’s muddy currents. In winter’s eyes – pessimistic safety is a grey stone.


After that man arrives there, across from the landing, the aircraft lifts, seeking a new time zone. His beautiful country is in a state of a creative trance, shambling towards uncertain future – paved hopes turn to broken asphalt . Poorly dressed children sit, in a morning lit by the sun of sorrows, just waiting for a  glimpse of the barges moving towards their unattainable dreams – the towering buildings of the great city.



Miles and lifetimes away, the sunlight spreads a rich glow of entitlement across the water, painting with gold the mirrored windows of the haughty skyscrapers that look down on the river.


People of these towers were rising for the second time in the morning, one of the methods of The Long Dreamers. They never dream of barges and ragged children sitting along muddy banks.




9 thoughts on “Future Fable: The City and The Ship of State

    1. Many thanks. 🙂 This is one of my Broken Folklore pieces. I try and take apart the structure of a folktale. In this case, the point of view of the tale shifts, as does the level of metaphorical language. The setting is also ambiguous – either the distant future or the an alternative past.

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