Tesla’s Farewell: A Poem By Tarık Günersel

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Nikola Tesla image via history.com

Let there be light
in minds
away from dogmas,
unquestionable beliefs.
Nature. Nurture.
Power. Powers.
Let’s question the questions
imposed on us
limiting our horizon.
Let there be energy
free of charge, for peace, in peace,
not when bodies are in pieces.
Whenever I fear,
all I want is a perfect sphere.
I can then feel
that I hold the whole world
in my hands.
As it should be.
In safe hands.
Securely.
Secure. Security.
Physics. Chemistry.
Lightning, thunder.
Biochemical processes.
Needs. Instincts. Attempts. Trial and error.
Likes, dislikes. Wounds. Pain. Emergence
of selfhood. Memory for survival, and
birth of good and bad.
Being taught “Do’s and Don’t’s”
by a young proto-human.
Shocks. Blood. Strangeness of death.
Trying to ‘understand’: An explanation
one can stand under
to protect oneself, as in a cave.
Birth of correct and incorrect.
Intents. Plants. Stones. Other animals.
Conflicts. Danger.
Resource management.
Intuition. Plans. Threats. Anger.
Sounds. Voices. Gestures.
Meanings. Unknowns.
Thinking. Fights. Grudge.
Insecurity. Sex. Like, dislike.
Children. Care. Affection.
Birth of right and wrong.
Being hunted and raped. Hate
–if not killed. Rage. Reaction. Torture.
Aid. Mutual aid. Values.
Conflicts. Need for
solutions. Bloodshed.
Revenge. Counter-revenge.
Cooperation. Words.
Expressions. Languages.
Counter-counter-revenge.
Massacres.
Justice. Categories.
Engineering. Evolution.
Labor. Productivity.
Desires. Imagination. Humor.
Organization. Discipline. Satire.
Passions. Fantasy.
Projects. Sources. Resources.
Works. Connections.
Births of gods -as part of ‘nature.’
Arts. Assumptions,
beliefs, knowledge, mistakes,
dis/information.
Group solidarity.
Regions. Others.
Relatively abstract gods who
still interact with humans.
Trying to please the gods for
protection, rain, food, health etc.
Heads and leaders of various sorts.
Prophets and profits, religions:
Mutual benefit -and terror
using the notions of god, sin
and punishment.
Conflict of interests. Wars
-usually holy, ‘un’naturally.
Surplus goods, surplus ‘bads’.
Rulers, slaves. Free time for some.
Options: Secure slavery, or
risky rejection and compromise -or uprise.
Interactions
with various outcomes:
Joy, regrets, executions, victories.
Climate change: Agriculture.
Villages. Towns. Paths,
roads. Cities. States. Mathematics.
Ideologies. Empires. Imperialism.
Philosophy. Naturalism.
Censureship. Exile.
Emerging groups and classes.
Aggressive notions of God
faith, and civilization.
Science. Humanism.
Alternative initiatives.
Anti-Imperialism. Riots,
revolutions.
Capital. Companies.
Input. Output.
Counter-revolutions.
Markets. Stock Exchange.
Theories of surplus-value.
Losses. Politics.
Exploitation. Pollution.
Environmentalism.
Nations. Governments.
Design plans.
Re-design strategies.
Geopolitics. World wars.
International movements
and organizations. Good, bad.
Declarations. Attacks, counter-attacks.
Games. Manipulation. Images.
Redefinitons of good and bad.
Oppression. Prisons. Executions.
Praising sacred notions etc.
Finance. Financial crisis. Thus
‘security’ against security:
Re-re-definition of good and bad;
controlling most of the media
and communications;
praying for totalitarian ruling
with misleading accusations;
defamation of critical minds
trying to destroy them by all means.
Panic-attacks. Disorganization.
Oppressive re-organization attempts.
No need for panic.
Help is on the way
on the Titanic.
Let’s question all the obstacles
between hearts and minds.
Let’s organize our lives
as evolving adults
with autonomy and solidarity
with an open mind.
Let’s contribute to the synergy of volunteers,
for life –on our planet and beyond.
Whenever I fear,
all I want is a perfect sphere:
A healthy biosphere.
Let’s act, my dear,
so that we do not wait
like a deer
that is about to be shot.
That would not be fate.
Do not be an inmate
of your own prison cell.
Free yourself. Free your labor and time.
Why should you have to work for money
when we can have free energy
and we produce plenty?
Why should children starve to death?
Why should we let ignorance be used
to increase dogmatic oppression?
Let’s live fruitfully –in relative harmony.
These would be my last words.
before I say farewell
to a youngster
whatever the biological age is.
A youngster like myself
at eighty-six
in a hotel room
in a noisy silence,
a crowded loneliness
without my white pigeon
but with her love
towards
infinite energy
without reaching
the age of 140.
Fair?
Chicago Fair?
What is electricity
I asked when I was five.
I still don’t know the answer.
Well, thoughts are leaving me.
Naturally: I’ve never slept enough.
So it’s high time.
Farewell.

About the Author

Poet, playwright, actor, and director Tarık Günersel worked at Istanbul City Theater as a dramaturg. His works include Breaths of Infinity (a mosaic of poems) and My 300th Birthday Speech (short stories). His Becoming consists of his aphorisms and various ideas from world wisdom. His plays include Billennium, Nero and Agrippina, Sociology of Shit, Threat and Virtually Yours. He has written four libretti for the composer Selman Ada: Ali Baba & 40, Blue Dot, Forbidden Love, and Another Planet. His translations into Turkish include works by Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Savyon Liebrecht. His presentation of World Poetry Day to PEN International in 1997 led to its adoption by UNESCO. As the former president of PEN Turkey Center he was elected to PEN International Board in Tokyo from 2010 to 2012. In 2013 he initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the collaboration of several intellectuals from around the planet.

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Fearless, Ink.