Cold

It’s cold outside,
the frost is creeping in.
Crystal by crystal,
covering the world without a care.
Where has my power gone?
I thought I was dancing with the universe,
thought I was safe…
but a blown engine at midnight
shattered that illusion.
-7?
-8?
I must preserve my heat.
This is real… not some delusion
and yet… all is as it is and I find some time
at last to write.
From the heart of where I am,
free of preachy insights.
Its cold.
Its dark.
A man is on the way.
Just left with stubborn will!
Screw the cold!
With every dropped degree,
my resolve burns brighter still.
Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016
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The Fall

[ Newark Factory, New Jersey, America ]
[ 1893 : There and Then ]

[ Harry Lovat ]
It ground and squealed under the wrenching motion,
until,
at last,
it pulled free!
With a great gout of oil
and the hiss of pneumatic steam,
the bronze arm came off clean.

Archie surely feels no pain,
but must feel the loss!
With inhuman strength
but a strangely human cry,
Archie pneumatically drives his remaining fist
into my dragon’s eye.

The scream and flame gouts,
and now ablaze,
Archie’s warship spirals out.
I leap off, landing clean,
face to face with Archie.
Man to machine.

‘We have unfinished business you and I.’

[ Archie ]
‘What is your place in this Mr Lovat?
You are nothing but a minor part,
and now your part is played
you should depart.’

[ Harry Lovat ]
‘A small role maybe
but before this stage I leave,
I will shut you down
and no one will be grieved.
You feel nothing real.
Do you feel the loss of Gatsby?
Have you a broken heart to heal?
You sent him out as bait,
and left him to his fate!’

[ Archie ]
‘You are wrong Lovat!
You will see.
Now come,
let us finish this,
just you and me.’

 

Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016

Beat

Thump…thump…thump,

ricketickaticka…aaaa…ricketicka..ta ticka,

Thump…thump…thump!

Buddy had an irregular heartbeat

all the doctors said.

But boy could he groove,

it can’t have all been in his head.

 

 

Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016

The Gamble

Dear Friends,
 
Once again, I find myself travelling and once again I have that wonderful sense of being on the move with plenty of time to think and create, time to simply watch the world.  I particularly enjoy traveling by train and flying because one can indulge in the art of observation and contemplation while still satisfying the souls need to be on the move in some way.

I am travelling once more to beautiful Copenhagen where I shall be meeting the mysterious lady calling herself Fru Hyggeligt, which really has no direct translation one to one in English but literally translated means "Mrs Cozy".  Anyone who met her would realise just how far off the mark that translation is as she is one of the empowered and takes great delight in bringing a sense of balance to what you may call, the quintessence.  In practical terms, to deal with her means that you are in for some change and you never know which side you will be on each time.  Her goal is the balance of greater forces than most of us will never be more than momentarily aware of, so she is a mystery.  You may call her a wizard I suppose although she prefers the term, witch.  In any case, once you begin to deal with her, you will never know the outcome and even if it is in your favour, it will never be in the way you expect.

I like her.  I have met her a few times on the periphery of things but never in any kind of business sense so I have merely been an observer of the way she works and the forces that seem to ebb and flow around her and her spheres of influence.  Magical, mysterious, alluring and frightening all at once!

So the question you are no doubt asking is why am I flying to see her?  

I saw a program once about a man who had made so many mistakes that he saw only one way out of his predicament, he sold his house in England and flew to Las Vegas and then after downing the most expensive whiskey money could buy, gambled his entire worldly wealth on the spin of a wheel.  The man won and the gamble paid off.  Well, I am in a similar situation although the stakes are less to do with finances and much more to do with the intangible.  Lets say its a debt to someone long dead and there is no way I can pay it unless I get some heavyweight help.  The stakes?  The stakes are the highest anyone can gamble with, the stake is my very own life's worth.  She will know how to measure such things being who she is, and also what that may be worth.

In any case, I am on my way and resolved and shall meet her later today and I am hoping that she likes my company as much as I enjoy hers and that it counts for something in the big scheme of things.  I shall write again when time and circumstances allow. I hope you are all well back home and please send my love to the others.

I remain as always, your friend,

L



Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016

The First Mask

I remember when I was young going to a masked ball.  It was captivating, magical and completely new to me.  I remember how free I was and how brave… all because I covered my face.  I danced and drank and took risks I would never had done without my face hidden.  As I said, I was young and inexperienced and had little time to prepare.  Some of my friends parents helped them make a mask for the event and they enjoyed the creative moments leading to the party as much as the ball itself whereas my parents were caught up in their own lives and I had to work it out for myself.  I knew little of the history or the etiquette and I, like  most others, had to choose a standard mask from the local joke shop.  There were not many to choose from and the quality was pretty poor so I chose a simple black ‘Zorro’  style mask.  Looking back now, I believe I chose that mask because it did not commit me to being a happy or a sad clown, death, or the devil, a plague doctor, scaramouch or anything in particular.  It was a blank.

I give thanks for that now.  Like everyone else, I had no idea that the ball would be the start of a struggle that would last for decades and for some, an eternity.

The night itself, was magical though and even though I now know the horrors that followed it, the memories of that night stay with me still and it remains one of the greatest nights in my life.  The rest of my life, after that night, changed at midnight when the mysterious cloaked man took the stage.  We thought it was part of the show of course, and the haunting music slowed and quieted as did we all when he stood on stage overlooking us all.  He wore a dark cloak that covered his head and flowed like liquid indigo to his feet, his mask, was death.  I remember now like it was yesterday, a more powerful presence I have never since met.  At the time, we were all captivated!  I was young then and did not know anything really and we were all caught up in the ball you see.  When he spoke, his deep voice reached us all and added to the mystery of the dark melody that continued to play between dances.

“If you would like the magic of this evening to last forever, you have merely to keep your masks on for a single night.  Until the sun rises my friends, until the sun rises.”

There were cheers, giggles, laughter and applause.  One or two voices demanded more details, no doubt law students we all thought, but he gave no further word and then left the stage with perfect choreography and then, as if nothing had happened, the next dance began. We whirled away with each other again, celebrating with our youthful energy, our bodies and our spirits and danced into the night.

I remember walking home with friends in costume and then bidding each goodnight as we reached our digs and then, just before falling asleep, my hand went to remove my mask and I remembered the strange promise at midnight… or was it a challenge?  My hand dropped to my side and my last thoughts as I fell asleep after the greatest night of my life was: “What the hell.”

 

Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016

Wake up call

The birds always sang in the morning outside the window,
and today was no different.
But they did not sing as loud or long,
for the lady in the window was gone.

So subtle she was,
I hardly felt her in the room.
But now that she has gone,
she has left a vacuum.

Oh my friends, sing and rejoice.
Sing while you can.
Raise your voice.

Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016

History of the 21st Century Part 1

https://pixabay.com/Two men were standing over a draining glass vat, both had invested over twenty years of their lives in what was at the bottom of the vat and both were tired, overworked and probably underpaid.  Both were divorced as a result of their commitment to the work and both were relieved that their long journey was finally over, it would be a success or it would not.  They could give no more.

The vat drained with a slurping sound and the sponge like ball lay glistening on the wet bed of the gro-bac.  To Dr White, it looked like a small, slightly oddly shaped towel rolled into a tight ball.  The seven unattached leads hung out of it and looked a bit forlorn.  He felt perhaps that at this glorious moment, he should have had a grander thought.  To his colleague, Dr Yogananda, it looked like the most beautiful thing in the world.

‘We did it!  Artificial intelligence!’

Dr Yogananda lifted the AI brain on its bed and reverently carried it in his trembling hands from the lab to the cybersuite where the robotic body was waiting to be connected.  Dr White just sat down with his head in his hands and sighed the longest sigh of his life, exhaling twenty years of stress.

The cyber suite was a rush of technicians and activity.

‘Ok.. here it comes, prepare the cranial cradle.’

‘Body functions green.’

‘Gurney power de-couple ready.’

‘Simmons, are you going to the ceremony this evening?’

‘No, I have to get back, my eldest is in the school play, you know what it’s like.  I can’t miss it, the other parents would make Louise’s life a nightmare.  They are already talking…’

’Simmons, focus.  Get the attachments free.’

’All attachments are free.’

‘This is it, the dawn of new age of enlightenment!’

‘No pressure then.’ chuckled Simmons to Nancy.  Nancy, in charge of the power de-couple, ignored him and watched Dr Yogananda walk toward the cradle and the robotic body.  He carried the drained vat bed and the AI brain carefully in front of him and then stopped in his tracks.  The excitement of the moment, the pressure of carrying this intelligence, 20 years of long working days, lack of sleep, pressure from above, a diet of coffee and fast food and stresses on his personal life all came together in that moment to stop Dr Yogananda’s heart.  No matter how reverential the doctor and now matter how special the moment, his life choices caught up with him at precisely that moment.  He let go of the drained vat bed and clutched at his heart and staggering on the spot.  The drained vat bed crashed to the floor and the AI brain rolled off the bed to the floor with a wet “plop”, the Dr staggered forward a few more steps and kicked the AI brain across the floor before he crashed into the motivator parts cabinet.

Simmons, being the most cynical, was the least shocked and reacted the most quickly.  He rushed forward and scooped the AI brain off the floor.

‘Grab a sterile wipe quickly!’

The others began to rush around, calling for medical help or looking for sterile wipes.  A few technicians just stood and watched in shock.  Nancy found the wipes and handed one to Simmons who deftly wiped the few spots of dirt and lint that he could see off the brain and quick as he could, eschewed all the prep and training and plonked the brain into the cranial cradle and proceeded to hook up the plugs to the connectors.

‘3 second rule.’  muttered Simmons as he completed the final plug connection and closed the cranial lid.  There was a scream from the front of the cyber suite and then a shout.

‘Dr Yogananda’s dead!’

Nancy looked at Simmons, ‘Are you sure we should be doing this?’

‘What choice do we have?  Two decades of work, trillions in investment and don’t forget mankind’s final hope and its what Yoda would have wanted.’  He looked around, the medics had arrived and had started to take control of the situation, they were in charge now.  Simmons looked at Dr Yogananda’s face, he looked stressed even in death, he thought.  Suddenly there was a grip on his arm, strong and unrelenting.  The AI project had spent trillions on every aspect of the first AI robot, from its brain to its body and of course to its psychological profile which included its name.  The name was important, it should be for the benefit of all mankind and be infused with meaning and purpose.  It had taken over a decade to finally decide on a name that could represent every human being on Earth and in the end, it was a religeous name that won the day, they chose the name Adam.  Psychologically, it was a name that carried weight and purpose and narrowly beat the name Phan Ku, only because the Eastern psychologists did not set so much store in the name as they did in stressing the importance that the AI should be invested with a connection to the Earth and all things, rather than to mankind.  Trillions in investment and two decades of political wrangling, psychological strategy and research.  Simmons looked at the AI that had sat up on the gurney and was holding his arm firmly.  The AI spoke directly at Simmons.

‘Who am I?’

To which Simmons, shocked and flustered for the first time in twenty years, replied ‘Yoda.’

 

Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016

Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com