"The Future We Want"
is transparent: a change in historical
structure away from repetition and inevitability to
renewal: for the weight of the alps on our brain
to lift like a cloud and dissipate: gone the lobbyists, power
divides from debt, ahead the garden where children play and grow
a dialectic of subsistence making time time: "the future we want"
is transparent: the regeneration of our minds and lives in the real:
the simplicity of clean air clean water, the rivers purer and undammed, the land
tended with care, food free of agrochemicals and hormones, free of spliced
genes, the ideal is clear: no more industrial pollution, no more military-defense industry:
we’ve had enough refugee tragedy to allow us the present
embraced, more satyagraha less duragraha breeds less bitterness: "the future we want"
is transparent: the greening of the mind
in energy, energy our eternal delight: no offshore drilling, no hydraulic fracturing, no
mountaintop mining, to make nuclear power as safe as a windmill
and decrease our consumption-need in our search for alternatives, what
doesn’t melt the ice sheets and devastate forest biodiversity, what preserves
ecosystems and indigenous lifeways, "the future we want"
is transparent: glass not plastic bags, no more take-out containers
as we can reuse our own, no styrofoam, less medical waste, less
for convenience and more mindfulness, lights dimmed shadows deepen
the least harmful carbon imprint, self-
interest zeroed to one’s self among others
for the benefit of near and far: a politics no longer based on the image
but on a fusing of referent and sign, for realigning the signs
holds the keys to the kingdom here in the unfinished
heaven, earth as clear as the robin’s egg, that blue
beyond reasoning, "the future we want"
is transparent: as lichen itself is symbiotic composite
more mutual aid, respect, dignity, as in the aftermath
of catastrophe arises extraordinary communities: time
to play the mandolin or badminton, compose, write letters to friends, sports
without corporate endorsements, time to read and think, to relate, study the stars
or a mushroom, time to dance to sing to learn a new language
cultivate value in the everyday: today, vatic pronouncements aren’t difficult, how to mean
what we say is difficult, though easiest of all is to say nothing and act
accordingly: "the future we want"
is transparent: the vision of a child’s present:
no more business practices like cyanide spray on a coral reef
better to undo the causes and recognize the effects of our habits
to prevent toxic dumping, dumping in poorer countries, dumping
in oceans and space: more conservation policies across nation-states, more positive
boycotts less sanctions, as unlimited profit-expansion will not sustain anything:
in the world of interrelation and difference, no responsibility transcends
the unfinished heaven: air circulates earth, sky overlaps sky, forest dwellers seed
swidden-fields, cities balanced in local communities, "the future we want"
is transparent: is transparency, incomplete, the curve
of the swan's neck, a dream of the present, the inrush
of conversation that roots attentiveness
for Rio +20
Beacon, NY / April 2012
Jeffrey Yang is the author of Vanishing-Line and An Aquarium. He is the translator of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo's June Fourth Elegies, and the editor of Birds, Beasts, and Seas: Nature Poems from New Directions. He works as an editor for New Directions Publishing and New York Review Books.