• Best of the Net 2023 Nominations

    Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY is delighted to announce the following poems have been nominated for inclusion in 2024’s Best of the Net anthology: Flight Path by Laura RodleyThe Sonnet by Ed HackRailway Station, Bendery, Moldova by Tovli SimiryanBaptism by Greg WatsonMaking Up by Larina WarnockAll the best stories are true by Julia Klatt Singer —read more—

Bomb-Shelter Futurism by John Bradley

Bomb-Shelter Futurism

In a damp basement in Avdiivka,
a six-year-old girl named Varvara
draws a green alien with a black

eye that can see into the infinitely

finite future. It sees Vladimir Putin,
feet up on his 55-ton desk, staring at a photo
of Joseph Stalin. The sharp steel bristles

of Stalin’s mustache could draw blood

from delicate tissue. Putin nods,
raises his vodka glass to Comrade Stalin
and says: Great Leader, tell me,

will I ever be as greatly feared as you?

The alien briefly shudders. Then
its blank eye sees a long, birch-bark-
like strip cradled in the soft hands

of a surgeon who has just sliced

and pried this listless metal tongue
from the back of a woman, whose flesh
will never let her forget. The alien tilts

slightly to one side, then quickly rights

itself. Now its blank eye sees a girl
in a dank basement. She’s drawn
a green alien with one eye in the center

of its head. A reporter asks her:

Tell me, what can it see?
Can it see the end of this war?
No, says Varvara. No one can see that.

by John Bradley

Editor’s Note: This surrealistic narrative poem draws the reader into a possible scenario, yet as all good fiction does, also presents the reader with a probable truth that underlies the fictional story.


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