Time Capsule Poetry

time-capsuleDrawing of a Green Peace time capsule, 2009

Time capsules. Am I the only person fascinated by the idea of a container which simultaneously transports the past and the future? The past for those opening a time capsule, the future for those assembling one. I’m guessing there’s a few of you out there who are obsessed with the idea as well. The recent discovery (in the head of a lion statue) and unsealing of a 113 year old time capsule in Boston turned up a mysterious red book. Sadly, the mysterious book turned out to be just a plain old book, nothing too intriguing, but I think we all hope to hear of a time capsule that contains a stunning discovery. Someone please write a mystery revolving around the making and subsequent opening of a time capsule. Check out this list of lost time capsules to get your gears turning. Better yet, someone assemble an interesting time capsule, blessedly short on photos of politicians and ‘letters to the future’. Let’s make a mystery time capsule, kind of like a choose your own adventure book in objects. Ok, ok, that’s all the good ideas I’m giving out for free. But, I’ll leave you with a poetry prompt and poem. Write a poem titled: Time Capsule of (fill in the blank). There can be literal objects in this time capsule, more esoteric ‘items’, a combination of both. Choose a period in your history and assemble a time capsule poem of the raw material. Mine is family based. Good luck and I want to hear that at least one of you is beginning The Time Capsule Mystery.

Time Capsule of the Broken Family

contains a condo in perfect miniature,

wall to wall carpet, a papazan chair

with orange cushion like an enormous

pancake, a used VHS player. This capsule

contains order, cleanliness. In order

and cleanliness we achieve control. Control

is the goal, so the capsule also contains

obsessive exercise regimes, 500 calorie-a-day

diets, one powerful vacuum cleaner used

four times a week, new throw pillows,

and all things strongly scented: candles,

potpourri, deodorizing sprays, pine sol, bleach.

Some days you might catch the scent of pressure-

cooked meat and cabbage, or cat box. But we

have more bleach and mom said let the potpourri

boil ‘til the pan burns dry; scrape the black petals

out with a knife. My father is gone and I feel

unsafe. But my mother just got back

from the gym; she’s down on her knees cleaning.

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