The Future


“. . . and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.”

Genesis I.1


“This [fighting] angered the Creator, Kichi Manito, who decided to flood the earth into a rebirth.”

Algonquin creation story



What year is it? you are wondering.

We don’t know yet, but now, in this future,

the roadway humans once called “Route 1”

on the east coast of Turtle Island, the one

that ran from the mangroves of Key West

to the granite of Maine, is mostly submerged

except the last miles to Calais. Along

its storied route, the American dream lies drowned.

Massive tanks seep concentrated remains

distorted into poisons: Polluted circles

ripple out, as life re-makes itself in the widening

zones from non-existent to bizarre to promising.


The mangroves and granite hold fast; rising water

is not their enemy. Fish with new biology swim

and spawn among reefs sprouted from submerged

remains of condos, government buildings,

and strip clubs. Once-glowing signs made from base elements

—argon, mercury, phosphorus—now carry only sunlight

filtered by sea water, the shapes of letters useless.

Zoos stand empty after the last humans left gates open

for animals to adapt and mate with curious others.


The old coast is dead! Long live the coast!


Linda Buckmaster has been living and writing in Waldo County for over forty years. Her current project is a hybrid collection of poetry, essay, and fiction, Elemental. A Miscellany of Salt Cod and Islands, which will be published this spring.

buckmaster 1 poem image first choice by marjorie arnett As If Morning Might Arrive Medium Oil on stretched canvas Size 30 x 30 copy

Marjorie Arnett, As If Morning Might Arrive, oil on stretched canvas, 30 x 30 in.

Marjorie Arnett is a studio artist, playwright, and poet. She served as Dean, College of Fine Arts, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and now paints and writes in Belfast, Maine.


Image at top: Marjorie Arnett, Dark Harbor, oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 36 in.