Aphelion Issue 236, Volume 23
February 2019
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Dan's Promo Page

Lullaby of the Electronic Age

by Maria DePaul

The AI’s white noise
Simulates nature sounds:
Rainforest bird calls,
Waves crashing on rocks,
Or a rainy city night.

A train whistle blowing
As it lumbers across
A windy landscape
Forms from tinny
Electronic impulses.

Sound effects drone,
Drowning actual
Echoes of urban life:
Police and ambulance sirens,
Car and fire alarms…

Yet even prosaic events
Can convey urgency:
Loud crashes and catfights,
Drunken shouting by partiers,
Fading distant screams.

Insulated from
Inconvenient reality
By soothing rhythms,
Citizens slumber away
Any need to intervene.

2018 Maria DePaul

Maria DePaul is a writer based in Washington, DC, whose work has been featured in Akashic Books' Terrible Twosdays, Aphelion, The Future Fire, 50 Haikus, Haiku Journal, Illumen, Inwood Indiana's "Unwanted Visitors," Nature Writing, Plum Tree Tavern, Poetry Quarterly, Scifiakuest, Speculative 66, Three Line Poetry, The Review Review, Violet Windows, Wax Poetry and Art, and "Nine Lives: A Life in 10 Minutes Anthology." Look for her work in the upcoming anthology "45 Poems: Reflection and Response."

Find more by Maria DePaul in the Author Index.

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