Saturday, August 3, 2013

At Last We Decoded the Terminal Message Only to Find the Pattern We Had Expected Was False

We're driving to Ohio middle of week after next, two cars on the way out both so Planet has a car there and we can pack all her stuff, one car bringing Earthgirl and me back. I'll be driving alone on the way there, I like the time alone and I don't begrudge Earthgirl wanting the hours with her daughter, so I spent last night building the playlist on the iPod of all the music I won't be allowed to play on the return drive home. These are for the long quiet beautiful middle third of the drive Cumberland to Waynesburg out, Waynesburg to Cumberland back (stretched on either side, from Hancock east of Cumberland to Washington north of Waynesburg), have some the songs for a dead Blog Days of Summer Saturday.


David Orr

At last we decoded the terminal message,
Only to find the pattern we had expected
Was false — a false trail of false bread crumbs
Designed to leave pitfalls undetected.

We found a new pattern. We found a hand
Moving pieces we had thought were only
Part of  the board, and shifting them to vantage points
We had ignored. We rewrote the battle plan

And reconfigured the satellite array
To show our progress from the very beginning.
The fault should be traceable — and hence correctable — 
And once we found it, we’d be winning.

We found a new pattern. We followed its track
To a forest beside an abandoned tunnel
Diving wide as a boxcar into the rock.
A stale breeze blew over rusting shovels

And all of our instruments confirmed a hit.
We set a perimeter. We sent in a scout.
From the interior, nothing looked back at us.
No tracks indicated a force had come out.

But we had a pattern. At dawn, we dispatched
A team of our best, our trackers and stone killers,
To see if  the signals were finally a match
And if so, to counterattack. And now we wait.

And now we wait. The tunnel gives nothing back.
The trees are revealing the first signs of gold
But the air is unmoving. The air is still.
It is quiet here, and getting cold.


  1. the poem as movie script -

    develop further with sympathetic viewpoint character;

    current ending is suitable for Sundance audience;

    for mass release add ending with lots of explosions

  2. I continue to be perplexed by your insistence that this is an Obama stunt, or anybody's stunt at all. Tons of countries are doing it you know.

    From yesterday ... what blogger died?

    1. Blogger was Doghouse Riley, someone I used to read years ago.

      Been a bad couple of weeks PR-wise for Obama, NSA noise, Snowden noise, time honored POTUS trick, across parties, yell TERRORISM. Wolf, wolf, wolf, yawn.

  3. Thanks for the linkage!

    Somehow I knew (before reading it) that your playlist was limited to the non-Earthgirl leg of the trip. My method is as follows: All my music is digitized on iTunes. Of my 35,000+ songs, all but about 1,000 are rated 1 thru 5. Approx. numbers: 11,000 5's, 19,000 4's, 6,000 3's, 500 2's, and 500 1's. The upper level skewing has to do with the fact that I try to acquire only music that I like. I listen primarily to the 5's. When a 5 rises above the others, I load it onto my iPod. Then, when I'm running or driving (usually without Wisdoc who has different tastes), I set the iPod on Random and let it play like my own personal radio station. I never know what's going to come on, and I'm always delighted when it does. btw: the iPod currently has about 1,000 songs, but there's room for more.