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This is the time, the Soothspeaker said,
the webbing of her mind filled with tangles
of light, the clusters of her eyes pressed
shut. The time to question false wisdom,
a time to realize that the shackles binding
your souls do not exist for justice's sake.

The trembling thought-strands that stretched
from her head into the walls, the vaulted ceiling,
the universe, convulsed and recoiled. Her eye
clusters writhed, her chorus of mouths howled
in agony. The Thoughtseekers had found her,
from the dark corners of time they attacked.
Lightning leapt from her synapses and
the coils of her gossamer flesh began to burn.

We fled that place of awakening on legs, wings,
on superstring strands, terrified but aware.
Some tore holes in space and leapt through,
some scattered into quantum futures, some
flashed away in ships of light, some shifted
to energy and hid in the space between atoms.

Invisible, our rebellion still spreads, planted
in a billion mindmasses clustered around
as many worlds, those billions as vulnerable,
as gullible, as we once were. Do not accept,
we whisper down the soul-webs. Do not believe.


Copyright © 2002 Mike Allen

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Mike Allen's poetry has appeared in Weird Tales, Absolute Magnitude, Altair, Tales of the Unanticipated, Dreams of Decadence, and numerous other publications. He is the editor of Mythic Delirium, published by DNA Publications. Mike's collection, Defacing the Moon and Other Poems, is also available from DNA. He lives in Roanoke, VA with his wife Anita and a portly black cat named Prowler.

Mike Allen is president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and editor of the speculative poetry journal Mythic Delirium. With Roger Dutcher, Mike is also editor of The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, which for the first time collects the Rhysling Award-winning poems from 1978 to 2004 in one volume. His newest poetry collection, Disturbing Muses, is out from Prime Books, with a second collection, Strange Wisdoms of the Dead, soon to follow. Mike's poems can also be found in Nebula Awards Showcase 2005, both editions of The 2005 Rhysling Anthology, and the Strange Horizons archives.
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