Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Leaping Into The Unknown

The February Pub Poets' theme of "Leaping Into The Unknown" made me think of virtual reality, so that's the inspiration for this poem.

And why not throw in a few TV show references and a bit of science fiction for good measure?

Leaping Into The Unknown

It must have been five years ago
Or thereabouts, I guess
The time I took a diff’rent job
so had to change address.
Much nearer to my cousin Chris
whom I’d not seen for years
so it was great to reacquaint
ourselves and share some beers.

One night when we’d run out of cans
(around about half-nine),
I sneaked down to his cellar where
I thought he kept his wine.
But what I found beneath his house
led to the Twilight Zone.
Before too long I’d take a leap
Into the vast unknown.

Before me, racks of DVDs
with walls of hi-tech gear,
a padded suit suspended high
within a plastic sphere.
And as I looked around the room
my cousin joined my side.
“You’ve found my secret world,” he said,
“You wanna take a ride?”

“I built all this advanced A. I. –    
a brain that fabricates
a virtual environment
from DVD base states.
You choose the video you want
from those stacked hereabout.
You get inside the padded suit
and tune the real world out.”

Well Chris was quite persuasive
(and drinking played its part)
so I was soon inside the sphere,
the system set to start.
My expectations were not high;
imagine my surprise
when I was next to Captain Kirk
upon the “Enterprise”.

I found that I could move around
but still remain unseen,
and I could look around the set
where cam’ras hadn’t been.
Extrapolated images
accounted for all this,
and all from software programmed by
my clever cousin Chris.

The next few weeks I spent my time
in many diff’rent zones.
I visited each TARDIS and
each place in Game of Thrones.
I mooched round Downton Abbey just
to see the rooms they’d got.
I went to Pasadena and
I sat in Sheldon’s spot.

I sat upon the tram that knocked
one Alan Bradley down,
but when I saw who shot J.R.
a thought caused me to frown.
I realised that not a one
of Chris’s discs were fact;
Yes: dramas, plays and comedies.
Non-fiction discs he lacked.

He’d missed an opportunity,
but I’d not, so next day,
I brought some vintage footage of
that “Shot” at JFK.
A solo flight while Chris was out:
he’d given me a key
So I would do my own research
In Dallas, ’63.

When I walked up the grassy knoll
There was a gunman – true!
But he saw me – to my surprise –
His shot went off askew.
A sort of pop and I was back
although the room had changed.
No Chris, no discs, no padded suit.
The past – now rearranged.

The flesh wound now a killer shot
that took out JFK.
My former past is now unknown
because I leaped that day.