How the future looks
I am visiting a large university.
The library is a red brick tower
15 stories tall.
The open green spaces
Are dotted with students sunbathing,
Launching frisbees over heads
Of pink and blue and orange hair.
Professors from other eras
Pass to and fro
Dragging long purple shadows.
The sun is setting.
The same sun is rising.
Ten years pass.
A young Chinese man in his pajamas
Charges down from his dorm
Right into a huge flock of geese by the pond
Who honk and flap and flee every which-way
But eventually they gather in the middle of the pond
Where they consider their options and fix their feathers.
The young man laughs and laughs
His name is Tin Sen.
He will change the world.
Reflection: This happened about 20 years ago. My son and I were checking out New England colleges. We were at UMass in Amherst. It was early, about 9. We were walking around a pond on campus, below the library, and what happened was exactly how I described it. I liked everything about this young man: how he burst from his dorm in his pajamas, created chaos with the geese and exploded with laughter. I felt like he was showing me a better way to live. Now, so many years later, he returns in this poem to help renew the planet. And his world is not a recycled planet or a wounded, over-crowded, war-ravaged, struggling planet. His is a world inhabited by people like him who wake up just in time to make change. Nothing can stop him because he has the will to stir things up and he knows how to give himself over to joy.